Meteorological Conditions in South East Asia: 3 August 1999

Meteorological Conditions in SouthEast Asia

3 August 1999

The Meteorological Service of Singapore reports on 2 August 1999 for the South East Asian region: “Hot spots were observed over central and southern Sumatra and over Kalimantan. Slightly hazy conditions continue over Singapore and parts of peninsular Malaysia”.

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Fig.1. Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Hot Spot Map, 2 August 1999
Forecasts of winds and surface pressure are available at

The GFMC displays selected and daily updated global and Asia-Pacific Experimental Climate Prediction Center (ECPC)  Fire Weather Forecasts (Fig.2-7). These examples allow a quicklook and provide daily and weekly total forecasts, and forecasted monthly anomalies (for next month). For background information refer to the ECPC products description page.

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tomorrow this week this month

Fig.2-7. Fire Weather Index (FWI) forecast for tomorrow (left), this week (center) and the predicted FWI anomaly for this month (right) for the Western Pacific and the Pacific Ocean. The daily forecast refers to 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) time; the weekly total forecast and the monthly forecasted anomaly refer to 00:00 hrs UTC which is local noon at dateline (180° longitude). Forecast time is 12:00 hrs noon UTC (Greenwich) corresponding to local evening time in mainland and insular SE Asia (updated: 3 August 1999).

The ASEAN Haze Action Online provides the following information:

  • Monitoring: Hyperlinks to institutions involved in regional monitoring and prediction of fire and smoke haze
  • Haze News: ASEAN Transboundary Haze Update (updated daily)
  • Intranet: Information and possible participation in the ASEAN Haze Action Online Intranet Information Services (for associated registered participants)
  • Mobilization Plan: Model Fire Suppression Mobilization Plan
  • Inventory: Inventory and analysis of forest and land fire suppression capabilities
  • Haze Forum: Communication platform on fire and smoke-haze issues in the ASEAN region
  • Calendar: Fire and haze-related events can be identified by a search modus

A choking smog from burning rainforests returned to Southeast Asia this week, frightening citizens and exposing weak government efforts to tackle the problem as useless, regional analysts and environmentalists say. A thick haze descended on Singapore and parts of Malaysia late last week, reminiscent of the heavy smog that choked Southeast Asia in 1997 and 1998. Two articles about the above mentioned situation with the title “ASEAN urged to fight the smog or choke on it” and “Haze returns to Singapore, parts of Malaysia” were published by Planet Ark on 2 August 1999.

The latest NOAA14 satellite images show hot spot locations in Sumatra and Borneo. “Hot spots” can be identified as red dots.

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Fig.8. and 9. Latest NOAA Satellite images of Sumatra and Borneo, 2 August 1999

The Forest Fire Prevention and Control Project (FFPCP) in Palembang (Sumatra) provides a new fire overview map on 1 August 1999.

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Fig.10. Fire Overview Map for 1 August 1999 of the FFPCP project in Palembang

The newest fire overview map for the Integrated Forest Fire Management (IFFM) project in Kalimantan shows 60 hotspots on the 30 July 1999.

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Fig.11. Fire Overview Map for 30 July 1999 of the IFFM project in Samarinda

Summary: Although the current fire weather conditions do under normal conditions not favour extensive land clearing by fire or escaping wildfires in Indonesia, the consequences of the large wildfires of 1997-98 must been taken into consideration. These fires had caused extensive degradation of primary and secondary forests along with the spreading of “alang-alang” (Imperata cylindrica) grasslands. These grasslands facilitate the spread of uncontrolled fires over large areas.

See also the IFFN Country Notes.

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