Review of Regional Haze Situation for December 2020
1.1 Northeast Monsoon conditions prevailed over the ASEAN region in December 2020. In the northern ASEAN region, the prevailing winds blew mainly from the northeast or east during this month, with moderate to strong northeasterly winds over the southeastern Mekong sub-region on several days. Dry conditions developed over the Mekong sub-region, except over coastal areas of Viet Nam where isolated showers were observed on a few days. In the southern ASEAN region, isolated to scattered showers fell over most areas with the prevailing winds blowing mainly from the west or northeast. Rainfall activity was highest in southern Thailand, northern Peninsular Malaysia, Java and eastern coastal areas of the Philippines.
Figure 1: Average Daily Rainfall and Mean Wind for December 2020. (Source: JAXA GsMaP and GFS respectively)
1.2 The hotspot counts in the ASEAN region for December 2020 remained relatively low when compared to the same review period in previous years (Figure 2 and Figure 3).
Figure 2: Hotspot counts for the northern ASEAN region for the month of December between 2016 and 2020. [Note: The hotspot counts from 2019 onwards are based on the NOAA-20 satellite, while those from 2016-2018 are based on the Suomi-NPP satellite.]
Figure 3: Hotspot counts for the southern ASEAN region for the month of December between 2016 and 2020. [Note: The hotspot counts from 2019 onwards are based on the NOAA-20 satellite, while those from 2016-2018 are based on the Suomi-NPP satellite.]
1.3 Isolated to scattered hotspots were detected in many parts of the Mekong sub-region in December 2020. In particular, localised smoke plumes were observed to emanate from some of the isolated hotspots in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand. In the southern ASEAN region, the hotspot situation was subdued by rainy conditions.
Figure 4: Distribution of hotspots detected based on NOAA-20 satellite surveillance for December 2020.
Figure 5: Maximum fire intensity based on NOAA-20 satellite surveillance for December 2020.