Singaporeans have been gobsmacked by the overwhelmingly suffocating dry spell in March, and it hasn’t even hit haze-filled season yet! While we are not going to hit 40°C, according to NEA, we may hit 36°C on some days, with other daily highs of 33 to 34°C.
NEA has attributed a few factors to the dry spell in Singapore, such as the influence of El Nino, the presence of a dry and warm air mass over the region, and the occurrence of the equinox.
What Exactly Is Causing The Heat?
Some of us might be wondering, why is it expected to be so hot this month? Well, global warming and El Nino aren’t the only culprits. A phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) has also contributed to this in cities such as Singapore.
The UHI effect is a situation whereby urban areas are significantly warmer than rural areas due to urbanisation and human activities in large cities. And it’s going to heat up even more, as Singapore continues to urbanise and develop.
But here’s the good news! A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) researchers have developed a modelling tool to depict UHI effects by creating visual maps for areas based on (i) sunlight and shading, (ii) wind flow and temperature, and (iii) noise levels.
Image: A*STAR Team who developed the UHI modelling tool
With such information, city planners, housing developers and even town councils can better make informed decisions on exactly where and how to build better cities. By determining our island’s pain points, we can address them in simple but effective ways; such as increasing tree cover, installing rooftop gardens and building water features to cool things down. Perhaps the rooftop infinity pool of the Marina Bay Sands is not simply an aesthetic construction after all!
Here’s a video of the modelling tool developed by A*STAR:
5 Places In Singapore To Escape the Heat
Now if the heat does become unbearable, here are some places we specifically highlighted out for you to escape the heat:
1. Pinnacle at Duxton
First on our list is Pinnacle at Duxton, simply because it has a great rooftop on its 50th Storey Skybridge. And yes you do not have to be a resident there to access the facilities. Other than enjoying the cool breeze from the rooftop garden, you can also enjoy the amazing view of the city. Here’s a look at the Skybridge:
2. Vivocity Rooftop Pool
If Pinnacle is not enough to charm you, you can also drop by the drop by the popular Vivocity. Other than being known as the largest shopping mall in Singapore, Vivocity has a great rooftop pool which is designed to keep the temperature around cool. It is familiar to see families and kids around enjoying the facilities. Pro tip from us? Grab a few snacks and set up a mini picnic over at the rooftop pool to escape the hot Singapore weather!
3. Lantern at The Fullerton Bay Hotel
This is fast growing to be one of our favourite hangout spots – Lantern at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Located at the Marina Bay, the bar gives you a stunning view of the bay area, perfect for to bring your date on a weekday or weekend night. With the rooftop pool, along with its proximity to the bay, you can be sure that the bar is a great spot to escape the Singapore heat, which can be unbearable even after sunset.
4. Punggol Waterfront
For friends staying at Punggol, you are in luck – the waterfront is probably one of the best places to hang out to escape the Singapore heat. The park with well-planned with its green features and water features, and for the adventurous and for those in the know, Punggol Beach is hidden gem – soft, fine sand, moss-covered rocks, with an unbeatable view of the horizon.
5. Gardens By The Bay
Last (but definitely not least) on our list is the Gardens By The Bay (of course it is!). Gardens By The Bay is just a walk away from the Bayfront MRT and it is a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore. You can choose to stroll at the park, cycle around it, visit the popular Flower Dome or Cloud Forest, or take part in the many activities that the authorities have planned for visitors.
The heat will be better come April, and while we await the cooler weather, these are the five spots that we’ve identified to avoid the heat in Singapore. Know any hidden spots that we should all check out? Do let us know in the comments below!