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Saturday, 13 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Cold snap grips the peninsula

PETALING JAYA: It has been cold, damp and, in some places, extremely wet. The warm clothes are out and people are all wrapped up. The west of Peninsular Malaysia is in the grip of a cold snap, with the Klang Valley experiencing the coldest weather it had in months, with temperatures dipping to 22°C.

Kuala Pilah in Negri Sembilan was among the places that registered a low 21°C since midnight, very much lower than the normal 31°C to 32°C, according to the Meteorological Department.

For once, Cameron Highlands felt like Europe, reportedly recording 15°C yesterday.

Meteorological Department director-general Alui Bahari said the cold weather was the usual phenomenon during the period of the northeast monsoon, from November to March.

“An overcast sky, incessant rain and the cold monsoon wind are among the factors causing the cold weather in several peninsula states.

“The cold weather occurs mainly in the interior and inland areas. Between midnight and early today, the meteorological stations in southern Peninsular Malaysia recorded a minimum 22°C and a maximum 25°C compared to the normal 30°C to 31°C,” he said.

Alui said the situation also occurred because it was cloudy and drizzling in several states such as Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and there was moderate rain in Pahang and Johor.

“However, the states in northern Peninsular Malaysia did not experience a big drop in temperature,” he said, adding the weather is expected to return to normal after the rain eases off.

On Twitter, Malaysians expressed shock at the cool weather, but they were loving it, too.

“The weather in Malaysia is actually cold. This literally does not happen all the time living in a tropical climate,” @mabeses wrote.

Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak weighed in on the weather discussion upon his arrival home from Saudi Arabia, tweeting yesterday morning: “Wah, it’s really cold in Malaysia today, like Jeddah! Alhamdulillah back home safe.”

Some netizens, however, lamented having to be all wrapped up in Malaysia.

“I had to wear a jacket, which feels dumb in the tropics,” tweeted @diandujour.

The big question now is how long the cold snap is going to last.

Some weather forecasters have said that many parts of Malaysia will stay cool and cloudy for a while but the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) says there is no sign of temperatures dipping further.

It said the current phenomenon is actually due to the north-east monsoon affecting the east coast of the peninsula.

“The rainy season in the area is pushing the north-eastern wind and the clouds to the west.

“That is why we have seen less sun these past few days and the temperature has not risen,” said a MetMalaysia spokesman.

He added that the cold spell is expected to end tomorrow.

“We can expect to see more sun from Sunday onwards,” he said.