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Downpour in many areas brings relief from dry spell; more rain expected

Rain in PSA
The Straits Times - March 20, 2014
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Downpour in many areas brings relief from dry spell; more rain expected

Heavy rain gave many parts of Singapore a proper soaking late Sunday morning and much needed relief from the country's record-breaking dry spell.

The National Environment Agency's (NEA) 3-hour Nowcast - which tracks rainfall patterns - showed thundery showers across the entire island with readers reporting rain in most areas.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday: "A nice walk in Gardens by the Bay on a cool clear morning, topped up with a welcome sprinkling of RAIN."

The nation was already given a small taste of the rain with light and passing showers on Saturday. And much to the relief of many, there will be more wet weather to come with NEA forecasting afternoon showers over the next three days. In an advisory issued on Saturday, it said that the current dry phase of the northeast monsoon is expected to transition to the inter-monsoon period in the last week of March. The inter-monsoon period generally brings more rain.

Despite the rain, however, the NEA expects rainfall this month to be below the March long-term average of 185.9mm.

Singapore has been in the grip of persistent dry weather since mid-January with greenery turning dry and brown and national water agency PUB having to pump Newater into reservoirs to keep water levels healthy.

The weekend rain is also helping to clear some of the haze the country has been experiencing.

The 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) stood at a high of 37 as of 11am, in the good range.

The 24-hour PM2.5 levels were also vastly improved at 28 micrograms per cubic metre, down from above 60 on Thursday.

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