Brunei Darussalam is bracing for the onset of the northeast monsoon, expected to begin in early December and extend until the end of March next year, said the Brunei Darussalam Meteorological Department (BDMD).
The initial months of the monsoon – December and January – are typically characterised by elevated rainfall, with December averaging at 358.9 milimetres (mm) and January at 320.6mm.
Unsettled weather conditions will prevail, marked by heavy showers or thundershowers.
“As the northeast monsoon progresses, there is a higher risk of flooding or flash floods, especially in low-lying, flood-prone areas and near riverbanks,” it said.
“The potential for severe flooding rises during heavy rain coinciding with high tide and the risk of landslides and falling trees persists during continuous heavy rain.
“Strong cold surges from the Northeast may elevate wave heights to approximately 3.5 metres over Brunei waters. The second half of the northeast monsoon – February and March – is expected to exhibit more stable atmospheric conditions with reduced rainfall activities.
“However, El Niño conditions in the region are likely to result in suppressed rainfall activity and increased air temperature during February and March, which are the two driest months,” it added.
Maximum daily temperatures may reach 34. degrees Celsius or higher in the afternoon, with the potential for excessive hot weather or heatwave events. The El Niño episode is forecast to persist until June.
The seasonal outlook for rainfall amounts will fall in the normal range of 280-430mm in December, slightly below normal of 190-260mm in January and below normal of less than 100mm in February.
The public is advised to stay informed about the latest weather forecasts, advisories and warnings issued by the BDMD and to plan for safety accordingly.