You know that piece of news claiming that Malaysia is going to freeze over (somewhat) this month? The one that went viral? Apparently, it isn’t true. Malaysia is still going to be as scorching hot ever for weeks to come.
The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has released an official statement via its Facebook page to squash rumours about “extreme cold weather” hitting the northern hemisphere including some parts of the country this month.
Last week, MetMalaysia revealed that the El Nino phenomenon has resulted in a drop in rainfall of between 20% and 60% for most areas in the country, rendering the weather hot and dry with temperatures rising by 0.5°C to 2.0°C.
Hence, reports of temperatures dropping to 20°C are false.
The Star Online quoted METMalaysia director-general Datuk Che Gayah Ismail as saying that the claim was not true and the temperature would remain within the normal range throughout February. “In fact, the statement was not from me. The lowest temperature of 16°C was actually referring to last year’s minimum temperature,” she said when contacted by The Star.
The unverified news report surfaced shortly after it was reported that parts of Asia was hit by record low temperatures including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Bangkok. The report also claimed that Malaysia might be facing the coldest weather ever this Chinese New Year, with the temperature in some parts of peninsular Malaysia dropping to as low as 16°C due to the “the cold north-easterly wind”.
To be fair, we can see why it was easy to believe the claims, considering the circumstances, but at the same time, a quick search on Google would’ve landed you on this other The Star Online report about a “chilly Chinese New Year”. Dated 24th January 2014.
Meanwhile, the temperature in Malaysia is currently between an average of 23°C to 33°C. Less rainfall is also expected, especially in Sabah and north Sarawak. Yuh huh, you read right – it’s going to be as hot as it has been in the recent weeks and it’s expected to last until June, according to METMalaysia’s statement.
“The last time the country faced an El Nino phenomenon of this high intensity was in 1997 and 1998 when temperatures reached 40.1°C,” said Che Gayah.
Stay hydrated and reduce outdoor activities during these burning times, peeps!