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A Finnish Email

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I was amused by the following email from a gentleman from Finland...he certainly is very enthusiastic - I find meteorology interesting, but I'm not sure I would carry a windmeter around like he does! :rolleyes:

Will post some radar images of the squall line he mentioned when I have the time.



I am a forecaster from Finnish Met. Institute. I got a chance to visit Singapore second time 24-30.4.2007. I traveled with my brother who was also last year visiting Singapore.

Few reasons I wanted to contact you:

1) Possibility to visit your forecast office in Changi Airport in the future, 2) weather in Singapore during our stay, 3) special events during our stay

1) It would be a great honour to visit your forecasting office, maybe during next visit. The place is not best one if considered just after arrival (12-15 hours of flying from Helsinki) with all the luggage and immigration prosedures.

On the other hand, paying a visit in the middle of the stay would mean to take a cab or MRT to Changi. In fact we traveled from Raffles Place to Changi via MRT.

Would it be possible to pay a visit? I would contact weeks before time of the visit. I just would be interested of your day-to-day routines, forecasting models, effect of El Nino-La Nina to climate...

2) Year before (late April 2006) the weather was relatively dry with 3-4 days without any rain. Temperatures were also many times above 30 C.

This time it was a little different story. We stayed one night longer but still it rained every single day (8 days a row). Temperatures has hard time reach 30 C. Typically it rained during night or in the morning and the cloud deck didn't vanish until the afternoon hours. It must have rained 120-150 mm locally during this period of our stay.

Does shift from weak El Nino to near neutral in ENSO during December06, January-February07 has an impact?

3) I would like get little more info of these two events:

On the nights 29th and 30th (3-4 AM) strong thunderstorm and strong wind keep us awake.

What triggers strong nightly thunderstorms in Singapore/Malesiya area? Radiation cooling on the top of the cirrus? How many lightning strikes (cloud to ground) strong storms produce usually? I noticed that local people doesn't care a lot even when lightning strikes rumbles very near. Some tall skyscrapers may take few strikes?

This 30th April nightly event was even more bizzar. Usually in the tropics no strong winds are observed even with thunder.

Last year I measured with my portable windmeter of 13 m/s gusts from the 28th floor of Swissotel the Stamford. This time we were on the same side (baywye) but on the 51th floor (120-130 m AGL). At 3 AM 30.4.2007 strong haueling wind woke us. It was raining heavily but no thunder was heard. I did not go to balcony because of the lightning risk. The wind was blowing pretty hard about 10-15 min. I would estimate that the gusts were near 15 m/s. We even sceared some clothes drying on the balcony floor could lift up. Of course our position was over 100 m above sea level, but I think there was strong gusts even on the ground level.

What was behind this event? Downdrafts? How strong can winds be in strong thunderstorms?

Ps. In our opinion Singapore is by far the best country we have visited. Clean, hospitality and everything. Growing traffic and Casinos built may be some conserns in the future.


forecaster, Finnish Meteorological Institute

Helsinki, Finland

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