START OF DRY SEASON FOR THE NORTHERN ASEAN REGION
Singapore, 15 December 2022 – According to the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre (ASMC), the Northeast Monsoon season has become established over the ASEAN region in the past few weeks. This signals the onset of the traditional dry season in the northern ASEAN region1, which is likely to extend into May 2023. During this period, prolonged dry weather can be expected as the monsoon rainband moves south of the Equator and dry northeasterly winds blow from continental Asia over the northern ASEAN region.
2 The prevailing La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are expected to weaken and turn neutral by early 2023. The ongoing negative phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is also forecast to transition to a neutral phase by end of 20222. The return to neutral phase does not mean that weather conditions will necessarily be near their long-term average. Based on seasonal forecasts for the December 2022 to March 2023 period, the northern and western parts of the Mekong sub-region are expected to experience below-average rainfall, while near- to above-average rainfall is forecast for most other parts of the northern ASEAN region.
3 During this traditional dry season, fire hotspots and smoke haze may develop during extended periods of dry and warm weather, especially in parts of the Mekong sub-region where below-average rainfall is forecast. During the Northeast Monsoon, the low-level winds in the region typically blow from the northeast or east and transboundary haze may occur if the winds blow any smoke haze from fires to neighbouring countries. Early precautionary and mitigation measures are advised to prevent the occurrence of transboundary haze in the region.
4 For regular and ad-hoc updates of the regional weather and smoke haze situation and early warnings, please visit the ASMC website at http://asmc.asean.org.
 The northern ASEAN region comprises of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam.
 Both La Niña and negative IOD events tend to bring wetter conditions to most parts of the ASEAN region.
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