The Meteorological Service of Singapore (http://www.gov.sg/metsin/hazed.html) reports on 8 January 1999 for the South East Asian region “Cloudy conditions were observed in southern Kalimantan and many parts of Sumatera. No hot spots were detected in the region”. The Meteorological Service states for the near future that: “rainfall in the region is expected to be near or above normal for the next few months. However it should be noted that many parts of Indonesia (Kalimantan and parts of Sumatera) would be in their traditional dry season in the next few months. As such, though extensive and prolonged smoke haze is unlikely for this period, occasional short periods (e.g. a few days) of slight to moderate haze in a more localised manner remain probable”.
Fig.1. Regional Surface Winds and Haze/Hot Spot Map
Source: Meteorological Service of Singapore (http://www.gov.sg/metsin/hazed.html)
The current weather reports from Badan Meteorologi dan Geofisika (http://bmg.cbn.net.id/) records rainy and cloudy conditions for Indonesia with temperatures between 19°C (Bandah Aceh, Bandung) and 33°C (Palu, Palangkaray, Jayapura, Mataram, Denpasar, Surabaya) with relative humidity ranging from 57% up to 99%. The general forecast for whole Indonesia is rainy and cloudy.
Summary: Although the current fire weather conditions do under normal conditions not favour extensive land clearing by fire or escaping wildfires, 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. It can be predicted that in January with only moderate fire danger new vegetation fires will occur.