Sunday, 14 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM
Trust the weatherman, not social media
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) has dismissed talk on social media that monsoon winds from the Philippines are bringing heavy showers and causing a wet and cold spell in the country.
MetMalaysia director-general Alui Bahari has also dispelled viral news that the sudden drop in body temperature could lead to high fever.
“The department denies viral social media news that a change in the monsoon winds from the Philippines has brought heavy rain to the western part of the country, resulting in continuous cold weather.
“The viral news also advises Malaysians to wear warm clothing at night to avoid a drastic drop in body temperature, which could result in high fever,” he said in a statement.
The fake news stated that 16 major towns would experience a plunge in temperatures to as low as 14.2°C for Kundasang, Sabah, and 17.3°C for Kuala Krai, Kelantan.
On Friday, Alui was quoted in The Star as saying that the cold weather was a usual phenomenon during the north-east monsoon period between November and March.
In the statement yesterday, Alui noted that the coldest temperature was recorded in Mersing (Johor) and Kuala Pilah (Negri Sembilan) at 21°C while other areas dropped to about 22°C, usually in the early hours.
“The situation is expected to continue until Jan 14 as the sky will remain cloudy with continued rainfall and cold winds brought about by the north-easterly monsoon,” he said.
The wet spell is expected to subside gradually although several areas, such as Pahang (Kuantan, Pekan, Rompin) and Johor (Segamat, Mersing, Kota Tinggi), will continue to see heavy rainfall.
Alui said the bad weather warning alert issued by the department on Thursday had been replaced by a standby weather warning alert for today.
Strong winds of about 60kph and waves of about 4.5m are expected to lash the east coast states of the peninsula, according to MetMalaysia.
The west of Peninsular Malaysia has been in the grip of a cold snap, with the Klang Valley experiencing the coldest weather in months, with temperatures dipping to 22°C.
Kuala Pilah was among the places that registered a low of 21°C since midnight, very much lower than the normal 31°C to 32°C.
Cameron Highlands recorded 15°C on Friday.