Weather, Climate & The Environment, Kuala Lumpur
The hazy is an annual affair in Malaysia, affecting both East & Peninsular Malaysia...
Each year, uncontrolled slash-and-burn practices by famers, plantation owners and loggers in Sumatra and Kalimantan (both islands in Indonesia and bordering Malaysia) send haze into neighbouring countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand... The annual haze phenomenon is at its worst during the dry season from July to October... Where the hazy will cover is dependent on the direction of the wind... It can go as far as the Pacific islands...
The air quality is measured by the air pollution index... with the following reading indications:
000 - 050 ~ good
051 - 100 ~ moderate
101 - 200 ~ unhealthy
201 - 300 ~ very unhealthy
> 301 ~ hazardous
The poor air quality will result in increases in acute respiratory tract infection, asthma and conjunctivitis... The public are advised to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities until the air quality improved... They are also advised to drink a lot of water...
Sadly, apart from the bad traffic, lousy driving manners and the no kissing sign in the park (we'll get to that some other time), haze is fast becoming a recurring nuisance people in KL wish they don't have to put up with.
It seems we are gettting more and more of the haze these days, thanks to the forest fire in Indonesia. Waking up in the morning, thinking you're in Genting or Cameron highlands, went back to bed, got up again, realizing you're actually sleeping in your own bed and need to battle thru the traffic and haze to get to work. Driving to work, don't be alarm to see people walking around in masks. Gone are the days of clear blue sky and warm sunshine. They are completely blocked out by the haze. Worst still, it smells of something burning in the air, and it's not the barbeque from your neighbor.
The Indonesian government said they are sorry we have to live in a 'hazy' world, but I dunno if they are actually doing anything about it, it seems we keep getting it every year, without fail, especially in the dry season. Forest are being cut and burnt by plantation companies to make way for agricultural purposes.
Malaysia is where you can eat non-stop. No matter how good you are at resisting the temptations of good food, even high restraint eaters will easily succumb. So beware!!! If you have health problems- high cholosterol, gout or whatever.... you seriously need to go for medical checkup and diet before you even board your plane to KL. I have a friend who spent a month in Malaysia and went home 6Kg heavier. Don't say we didnt warn you.
This hazy condition happens every year sometime from July to August. It can't be hel especially since the winds from Sumatra "brings" the haze over. We have to bear with it OR.... for the visitor, avoid visiting between July till August.
That's right. Unpredictable weather. Sometimes, it's hot & sunny in the morning, it would rain very heavy in the evening.
Sometimes it rains in the morning, it would create a flood by the same day's evening !
Plan yourself carefully when travelling in this part of the world.
To us here, the weather affects us in many ways. We like to blame the weather if we don't feel like going to work. We like to blame the weather if we have a bad sex life !
The night view of Eye On Malaysia may be stunning and beautiful, and during a clear night the view of KLCC & city is clearly seen. A walk along or seats beside the lake to enjoy the view is the best way to enjoy the night besides riding on the wheel.
Unless you are on a day time visit, otherwise mosquitoes is an annoying trouble to counter, and it's not fun to have a beautiful view in front and mosquitoes stinging all around your body at the same time, so bring insects repellent.
It comes supposedly once a year. This time around in Aug 2005, it reached a critical level for a few days. See the picture to get an idea. Well, the winds have since then blew the haze up north and the city is back to normal. People here stayed home to catch the news on updates and so on, but I decided to take a look around the city instead. To my surprise... it was empty! I could barely see more than 500m most of the time I was out. Driving with my headlights on at 2 in the afternoon lol... not something I usually do.
Well, some general info on this Haze can be found below:
What is HAZE? HAZE consists of sufficient smoke, dust, moisture, and vapour suspended in air to impair visibility. HAZE pollution can be said to be "transboundary" if its density and extent is so great at source that it remains at measurable levels after crossing into another country's air space.
How does HAZE impact VISIBILITY? HAZE is caused by particulate matter from many sources including smoke, road dust, and other particles emitted directly into the atmosphere, as well as particulate matter formed when gaseous pollutants react in the atmosphere. These particles often grow in size as humidity increases, further impairing VISIBILITY. Sources hundreds or even thousands of miles away can contribute to VISIBILITY problems at remote locations. VISIBILITY often is measured as the farthest distance from which a person can see a landscape feature.
Average temperature is between 21 to 32 degree Celsius. Humidity is high. Rain tends to occur between November to February on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, on western Sarawak, and northeastern Sabah. On the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia the rainy seasons is April to May and October to November.
hello there. 1stly, I understand your concern as a mother, on your daughter's wellbeing. Based on the literature out there and personal experience of walking around in kl, the KL haze during august is not as bad as it is thought to be. many other asian cities are having the same problem that time of year, though kl maybe less. In my personal view, there shouldnt be any serious health problem. but she can take precautions eg drinking a lot of water (heat&humidity factor), and have her medications with her at all times. its also good to have her family doctor(GP)prescribe her any anticipatory drug alongside her usual medicine (just in case ie antihistamines inhalers etc).
A friend from ireland with a bad asthma came to malaysia a few years ago, although took her a day or so to acclimatize, she did very well in our weather.
Plus, KL is a big city, with a lot of public n private healthcare available and accessible by many. i would be more worried if she's in the more rural area of malaysia. there are many walk-in clinics, and quite a lot in kl, 24hr ones avaiable should she find herself in trouble.
and KL has a lot of airconditioned buildings.Malls, hotels, restaurant, so many that one can go about in kl without even exposed to the hot humid air.
wow, im rambling too much. in short, ure not worrying unnecessarily. its a justifiable concern. like any mother would. Im sure she'll do fine. she will do great.
hope this helps.
One problem with Kuala Lumpur is the haze that settles over the region on a fairly regular basis, happening whenever it gets too hot in south east asia. For asthmatics like me, it can be a real hazard, and I always make sure to take an inhaler with me, just in case. It also makes driving nightmarish, and has a nasty tendency to obscure anything that gets more than a medium distance away from you. The entire city will start to smell like a fire.
In all truth, this happens in more than just KL, but I've found it always just seems worse there. I don't know why, but it does. Maybe it's just because I think so well of the city normally and it seems like such a big change.
It is so freaking hot here! Make sure you have air conditioning in your accomodation. You will die without it! Be a bit wary of booking homestays online, they may look better online than when you arrive.
Although it's always warm in KL there can be very heavy rain at times. I wasn't around that time, but a colleauge took this picture. This was the parkinglot behind our hotel.
Just lately, we had a problem with floods, due to drainage problems and irresponsible dumping of rubbish in rivers and drains.