Rain this week could bring some respite from haze , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Rain this week could bring some respite from haze

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Rain expected to improve hot spot and haze situation in Sumatra and Kalimantan

The showers expected today and this week could bring some relief from the haze, which brought air quality to unhealthy levels yesterday.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said in its daily advisory that with winds forecast to blow from the east-northeast or east-southeast today, "the shift in winds is expected to bring some showers over the region".

It said the "slight deterioration" in air quality yesterday was due to smoke haze being blown in from Kalimantan by the prevailing winds.

Yesterday, 246 hot spots were detected in Sumatra in Indonesia, and 474 hot spots in Kalimantan, which also affected parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

"For the next few days, an increase in rain showers can be expected over the region, including Sumatra and Kalimantan," said the NEA. "The showers may help to improve the hot spot and haze situation in Sumatra and Kalimantan."

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) is forecast today to be between the high end of the moderate range and the low end of the unhealthy range.

At 8pm yesterday, the PSI for all regions was over 100, with the south recording the highest figure at 123, and the north the lowest at 111.

A PSI reading of zero to 50 indicates good air quality while a reading of 51 to 100 is in the moderate range. A reading of 101 to 200 is considered unhealthy.

Air quality is considered very unhealthy when the PSI ranges from 201 to 300, and hazardous when the PSI reading is more than 300.

In addition to the 24-hour PSI, the one-hour PM2.5 concentration is a good indicator of current air quality and can help people gauge their level of immediate activity.

There are four bands for PM2.5 concentrations: 0 to 55 for normal, 56 to 150 for elevated, 151 to 250 for high, and very high for any larger readings.

In the south, where the Singapore Grand Prix was held yesterday, the one-hour PM2.5 concentration reading was in the "elevated" range of 78 at 8pm, though it did not deter the thousands who flocked to watch the race.

Meanwhile, several flights between Ipoh in Malaysia and Singapore were cancelled yesterday morning because of poor visibility, Bernama news agency reported.