Review of Regional Haze Situation for January 2022
1.1 Northeast Monsoon conditions persisted over the ASEAN region in January 2022. This month, the prevailing low-level winds over regions north of the Equator blew mostly from the northeast or east while the prevailing low-level winds over regions south of the Equator blew mainly from the west or northwest. Under the influence of the Northeast Monsoon, persistent dry conditions were observed over the Mekong sub-region. Relatively dry weather was also observed over parts of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Sumatra in January 2022. Wetter conditions were observed over regions south of the Equator during the review period in line with the monsoon rainband’s position south of the Equator.
1.2 In January 2022, hotspot activities started to increase in the Mekong sub-region as dry conditions prevailed, while wet conditions helped subdue hotspot activities in the southern ASEAN region. The hotspot counts for the Mekong sub-region in January 2022 were mostly lower compared to previous years, while the hotspot counts over the southern ASEAN region were generally similar to previous years (Figures 2 and 3).
1.3 The Mekong sub-region remained at Alert Level 1 for the month as the risk of transboundary haze remained low. However, there was an increase in hotspot activities with localized smoke plumes in persistently dry areas of the sub-region. In particular, clusters of scattered hotspots with visible smoke plumes were detected in northeastern Cambodia on several days. Elsewhere in the ASEAN region, hotspot activities remained mostly subdued (Figures 4 and 5).