KUCHING: The current hot and dry weather experienced nationwide is a normal phenomenon called the southwest monsoon which usually occurs from May to September every year. This year, the monsoon is expected to last until October.

During the monsoon phase, the wind will be blowing consistently from the south-west with drier and stable atmospheric conditions and lower air humidity. This will result in a lack of rain cloud formation.

With that being said, most states will experience more days without rain than the number of rainy days during the southwest monsoon. This condition causes low rainfall and hot weather.

According to Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) director-general Jailan Simon, throughout the period of the southwest monsoon, rainfall in most states is expected to be at an average level except for Melaka, Johor and Sabah which are expected to be slightly below the average.

“However, the squall line that brought heavy rain, strong winds and lightning can occur in western Malaya and western parts of Sabah early in the morning.

“The squall line refers to a thunderbolt line formed due to wind concentration, unstable atmosphere and lasts up to several hours,” he stated in a press statement issued recently.

Based on a weather forecast by MMD National Climate Centre, most parts in Sarawak are expected to receive rain on average between 200mm to 300mm this month. The Limbang and Miri divisions, however, are expected to receive less than 150mm rainfall.

For June and July, several divisions will receive rain slightly below the average level within 150mm to 250mm range namely, Kuching, Samarahan, Sri Aman, Betong, Miri and Limbang.

Meanwhile in August, most parts of Sarawak are expected to receive rainfall at an average of between 100mm to 250mm. Meanwhile, Kuching, Miri and Limbang divisions are expected to receive rain less than 150mm.

For the last two months of southwest monsoon (September and October), the condition of overall divisions in Sarawak is quite damp with the amount of rainfall expected between 50mm to 300mm. However, Bintulu is expected to receive rainfall above the average with an expected rainfall of more than 350mm.

Latest weather forecasts and information can be obtained through MMD website at www.met.gov.my, mobile application myCuaca, social media, RakanMET and MMD hotline at 1-300-22-1638.