Maybe the “how’s Singapore weather” question should be re-phrased to… how HOT is it in Singapore?
Some have said there are only 3 seasons in Singapore: hot, hotter and hottest!
It’s not an overstatement to say that it is summer all year round here. And it is not just hot, it is also humid.
Singapore is very close to the equator and the humidity is often above 90%. At its peak, it can really sap your energy and make you irritable. It can be unbearable sometimes.
But quick relief is at hand… just duck into any of the air-conditioned malls, shops, hotels, office buildings, restaurants or hop onto a bus, hide in the MRT stations or hail a cab.
We Singaporeans love our air-conditioners. It was said that Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s most well-known former Prime Minister and now Minister Mentor, once claimed that air conditioning must have been the best thing ever invented! I couldn’t agree more. (^_^). There is even a book entitled Singapore: The Air-Conditioned Nation: essays on the politics of comfort and control by Cherian George.
I may not enjoy Singapore weather that much but for sun babies, Singapore is heaven-sent! It is ideal for those who enjoy sunbathing, swimming, sailing, diving and other water sports.
In short, Singapore’s climate is characterized by uniform temperature and atmospheric pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall.
Have an umbrella handy as heavy downpours can be quite frequent, but fortunately, they are usually short-lived. They can be handy as parasols too.
My favourite time of the day is between 6 pm to 8 pm. It is the coolest time of the day when it is still light, and you can enjoy the cool breeze, beautiful setting sun, and the ambience of a tropical island at dusk.
Despite Singapore’s small size, there may be sunshine on one end of the island and rain on the other. This is due to a rain shadow effect which can cause slight weather disparities from one side of the island to the other. Even a small hill such as Bukit Timah can cause this phenomenon.
Generally, there is much more rainfall on the western side of the island than on the eastern part of Singapore. Hence, the eastern side of Singapore is much drier and slightly hotter than in western Singapore. This means more opportunities for outdoor activities in the East!
Incidentally, the eastern part of Singapore is a popular choice among foreigners or expatriates for their residence. One of the reasons is the proximity to the downtown and the all-purpose East Coast Park.
Appropriate clothing for the Singapore weather
Because of the heat and humidity, it is advisable to wear light cotton pieces that will absorb perspiration readily. Cotton T-shirts and slacks are a good choice. Preferably short-sleeved.
Packets of tissue, handkerchiefs or super-absorbent face towels will come in handy too. I used to carry a cotton handkerchief in my pocket when I was a student. It was indispensable. My school and classrooms were not air-conditioned and my classmates and I perspire a great deal. Now that I am working in an air-conditioned office, I have no need for handkerchiefs. But when I travel or participate in any outdoor activities, I find it useful to pack a super-absorbent face towel for perspiration and wash my face when I visit the restrooms.
Last but not least, disposable underwear may not be such a good idea in Singapore. I have a tourist friend from UK who confessed that his disposable underwear “melted” after a hot day of walking under the sun. Of course, this may be because he perspires easily and profusely.
Singapore climate facts!
- Minimum 23 to 26 degree Celsius (usually night time)
- Maximum 31 to 34 degree Celsius (usually day time).
- Extreme 19.4 degree Celsius and 35.8 degree Celsius
High 90’s in the early morning. Around 60 % in the mid-afternoon.
Singapore has no distinct wet or dry season. Rainfall maximum occurs in December and April. The drier months are usually in February and July. The average annual rainfall is around 2,370 mm (93 inches).
How about the monsoon?
The monsoon period is from mid-November till early March and from mid-June till early September. During the monsoon seasons, thunderstorms or heavy rains are quite frequent. During prolonged heavy rain, relative humidity often reaches 100%!
Looking on the bright side, for those coming from temperate and drier climate, your skin will be drenched in moisture… save your expensive creams for home. Just don’t forget the sunblock.
Best time to visit Singapore?
Well, technically speaking, you could try to avoid coming during the monsoon seasons, but since Singapore weather is basically the same throughout the year, the best time to visit Singapore is ANYTIME. Just come and experience the sun, heat, and rain typical of a tropical island!