While Singapore is technically in the northern hemisphere – which means it’s technically winter in December – our proximity to the equator (only around 130km), means you don’t really get any sense of the four distinct seasons. Instead, the weather is dictated by monsoon systems. So, how cold does Singapore get and what’s the coldest day on record?
Having said that, December and January are (coincidentally) slightly cooler in Singapore. The average monthly temperature hits a 24-hour mean of 26 degrees Celsius. In May and June, by comparison, that figure is 27.8 degrees.
Still, it’s probably not the time to be reaching for that novelty Christmas jumper or sweater. December also happens to be the wettest month of the year in Singapore. And because of this combo of heat and rain, it’s the most humid month too.
Coldest day on record
On 14 February 1989, the climate station at Paya Lebar recorded Singapore’s coldest temperature on record: a relatively chilly 19 degrees. “Cold” weather in Singapore generally comes when there is very thick cloud cover that acts like a sunshade to reduce the amount of sunlight available to heat the earth’s surface, combined with winds being cooled by evaporating rain droplets.
Perhaps more remarkable than the low of 19 degrees is Singapore’s lowest ever maximum temperature in a day. That mark was set on 6 January 1934, when the mercury never got above 21.2 degrees. Brrrr! January of that year was also the country’s coldest overall month on record.
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This article first appeared in the December 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!