Singapore is located just one degree north of the equator with a climate naturally classified as equatorial. The island is generally hot and humid all year round with little variations in temperature changes and pressure.
For the most part of the year, Singapore enjoys a sunny weather with temperature ranging from 23°C to 31°C. In recent years, however, island temperature can hit a scorching level of up to 35°C, particularly during the month of June which is generally the hottest month of the year.
The highest recorded temperature was 36°C on 26 March, 1998 and the lowest recorded temperature is 19.4 °C back in 1934. Relative humidity is around 75 per cent.
When to visit Singapore
During the dry season from May to October, Singapore experiences a frequent haze phenomenon brought about by forest fires from ‘slash and burn’ activities on surrounding land.
This is caused by land clearing methods by villagers in neighbouring Indonesia. During this period, air pollution can be so bad that it causes eye irritations while visibility is reduced. The haze issue has been a perennial problem that the Singapore and Indonesian governments have been trying to resolve.
Singapore experiences two wet seasons brought by the onset of the monsoon season. The first one is the northeast monsoon which occurs during the month of November, December and January. December generally experiences the most rainfall with precipitation reaching over 300mm. The second is the southeast monsoon which occurs from June to September.
Flooding in Singapore and safety concerns
The southeast monsoon season has been serious enough to cause a series of flash floods in low-lying areas in Singapore. The city’s famed Orchard Road, for example, experienced two flooding incidents in a space of a fortnight. The first was the worst flooding that Singapore had ever seen, causing millions of dollars in damages to retail stores. Other affected areas include Novena, Thomson and Balestier.
The flooding incident had no doubt caused a dent on the image of Orchard Road, especially coming after US$26.7 million makeover of the entire shopping belt. In addition, it occurred during the Great Singapore Sale, a peak tourist season.
Aside from the months of May till July where the Great Singapore Sale happens, another peak tourist season is in December due to regional school holidays as well as year-end festivities. More on festivals.
While the authorities had said they are stepping up measures to improve the drainage system along Orchard Road, flooding continues to be a serious problem. Therefore, tourists are advised to avoid Orchard Road during a heavy downpour – at least till the authorities get their act together. This may be harder than it sounds if your hotel is in the area, but thankfully serious flooding is quite rare.