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BMKG: No heatwave in Indonesia, just seasonal transition

Jakarta Globe - May 7, 2024

Hendro D Situmorang, Jakarta – The recent high temperatures in Indonesia, according to the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), are not due to a heatwave like those experienced in Thailand and the Philippines. Instead, they are a result of the seasonal transition.

BMKG Head, Dwikorita Karnawati, clarified in Jakarta on Monday, that although a heatwave is affecting several Asian countries, including Thailand and Cambodia, with temperatures reaching up to 52C and 43C, respectively, Indonesia is not experiencing a heatwave. Instead, the country is witnessing high temperatures, which are normal for this time of year.

Dwikorita explained that Indonesia's maritime conditions, warm seas, and mountainous topography lead to increased air movement. As a result, extreme temperature increases can be buffered by periodic rainfall, preventing the occurrence of heatwaves in the Indonesian archipelago.

She further explained that the recent hot temperatures are a result of surface heating due to decreased cloud formation and reduced rainfall. This is common during the transition from the rainy season to the dry season, where the combination of surface heating and relatively high humidity leads to hot and humid conditions.

BMKG's Deputy for Climatology, Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan, reported that the highest maximum air temperature in Indonesia over the past week was recorded in Palu, Central Sulawesi, at 37.8C on April 23.

Maximum air temperatures above 36.5C were also recorded in several other areas, such as Medan, North Sumatra, reaching 37.0C on April 21, Saumlaki, Maluku, reaching a maximum temperature of 37.8C, and Palu, Central Sulawesi, reaching 36.8C on April 23.

As of early May 2024, only 8 percent of Indonesia's territory had entered the dry season. Areas that have entered the dry season include parts of Aceh, parts of North Sumatra, northern Riau, Pangandaran in West Java, parts of Central Sulawesi, and parts of North Maluku. In the coming month, several other areas are expected to enter the dry season, including parts of Nusa Tenggara, parts of Java, parts of Sumatra, parts of South Sulawesi, parts of Maluku, and eastern and southern Papua.

However, approximately 76 percent of Indonesia's territory is still experiencing the rainy season.

In contrast, a heatwave has been affecting several countries in Asia. Vietnam has reported maximum temperatures reaching 44C in some northern and central areas, while in the Philippines, the government has closed schools due to the heatwave phenomenon.

Fachri Radjab, Head of the Climate Change Information Center, explained that this series of heatwaves is likely caused by three factors: the movement of the sun, the El Nino climate phenomenon, and the influence of global warming.

"Hopefully, this situation will not occur in Indonesia," he concluded.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/bmkg-no-heatwave-in-indonesia-just-seasonal-transitio