Review of Regional Haze Situation for February 2021
1.1 Northeast Monsoon conditions continued to prevail over the ASEAN region in February 2021. In the northern ASEAN region, the prevailing winds blew mainly from the east or the northeast although the strength of the winds was weaker over the Mekong sub-region. For parts of the southern ASEAN region north of the Equator, the winds blew mainly from the north, while south of the Equator, they blow from the northwest or west.
1.2 Dry conditions persisted over the Mekong sub-region in February 2021. Additionally, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, and the northern and western parts of Borneo Island experienced periods of drier weather. Isolated to scattered showers fell elsewhere over the ASEAN region.
1.3 In Myanmar and Kalimantan, the hotspot counts were slightly higher for the month of February this year as compared to prior years for the same review period. In other parts of the ASEAN region, the hotspot counts this year were comparable to previous years (Figures 2 and 3).
1.4 In the northern ASEAN region, hotspot activities were detected in most parts of the Mekong sub-region. Persistent clusters of hotspots were also detected in Cambodia, southern Lao PDR, and northern Myanmar (Figures 4 and 5).
1.5 Throughout the month, intermittent cloudy conditions were observed over various parts of the Mekong sub-region which were associated with isolated to scattered showers. In areas that received rainfall, the hotspot and smoke haze situation was temporarily subdued. However, by the end of the month, dry and fair conditions had returned to the sub-region. This led to an escalation of the fire and smoke haze situation, particularly over northern Myanmar, northwestern Thailand, and northern Cambodia where moderate to dense smoke haze was observed (Figure 6).
1.6 In the southern ASEAN region, periods of drier weather over northern Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and the western parts of Borneo Island led to a progressive escalation of hotspot activities in these areas during the month. Localised smoke plumes were observed to emanate from some of these hotspots on several days. By the end of the month, moderate to dense smoke haze were observed to emanate from persistent hotspot clusters in West Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.