By Mohd Fadzil Akhir
If you’re in Terengganu or Kelantan, you’re likely experiencing continuous rain this week. Rainy, cloudy and gloomy days will turn down the heat a little as the atmosphere giving ways to the cooler north-east monsoon air to stay here for the next couple of months.
But this year will be different. There is a challenging moment waiting ahead. Uncertainty of the extend of the monsoon rain with the onset of La-Nina season already makes this year’s situation very puzzling. We have to prepare for possible flooding seasons while the COVID-19 pandemic already threatens us.
Annually starting November, cold surge from the northern Asia mainland spread into the north of South China Sea (SCS) and cold and moisture toward the south. As the moisture reaches the southern part of SCS, the east coast states as the forefront of our Peninsular is ready to receive all the thick clouds. This atmospheric motion will start forming in November and last until March.
However, this rainy period is not continuous. Instead, it spaced out into numbers of cold surges spells. Interestingly, the intensity of the rain, area affected, and the number of surges varies from year to year, making a prediction and understanding the monsoon less straightforward. These changes happen because of many reasons, and scientists refer to this as climate variability.