Thunderstorm warning

Hakim Hayat

Brunei is expected to experience thunderstorms during the Southwest Monsoon season that also coincides with the season of active development of cyclonic systems, such as tropical storms and typhoons over the Northwest Pacific and South China Sea, the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department (BDMD) stated yesterday.

Meanwhile, no major reports of damages or injuries were reported after thunderstorms with strong winds briefly lashed some parts of the country around 1pm yesterday.

In the capital, tents being set up for an expo at the Dermaga Diraja by the Brunei River and flower pots were blown-off by the gusty winds and reportedly caused some minor damages to vehicles.

Expo organisers said no one was at the scene at the time of the incident as the expo was set to open later during the day.

The organisers said they restored the expo area several hours later.

The BDMD said when a cyclonic system develops, the Sultanate will be indirectly influenced by the Tropical Depression with enhanced south westerly monsoonal wind in the coming days.

Photo that was circulated on social media shows flower pots at the Dermaga Diraja blown by strong gusts of wind yesterday

During this time, it will be breezy with gusty showers especially at sea and coastal areas. Sea state is expected to occasionally increase up to rough state of 3.0m.

BDMD also said hazy conditions are expected to persist throughout the week.

It said dry weather prevailed over many areas of southern ASEAN with persistent hotspots scattered around the region, causing some smoke haze to be blown by the prevailing southwesterly winds towards the country.

The reduction in horizontal visibility ranging between four to six kilometres was reported at the Brunei International Airport.

The Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) reading in Belait and Tutong districts was at the ‘moderate’ range of 60 and 57 as of 4pm yesterday, while Brunei-Muara District recorded a PSI of 41 and Temburong District 35 – both in the ‘good’ range.

The BDMD warned that strong winds and rough sea conditions are dangerous to all small craft and sea recreational activities and sports including swimming, jet skiing and scuba diving among others.

It advised the public to be alert with the current weather situations and take precautionary measures.