Review of Regional Haze Situation for October 2020
1.1 Southwest Monsoon conditions persisted over the ASEAN region in October 2020. The prevailing winds blew mainly from the southeast or southwest except over the Mekong sub-region where winds were mostly variable under the influence of several low-pressure systems. In the northern ASEAN region, rainy weather persisted throughout most of the month. The average daily rainfall (Figure 1) was highest in Luzon Island of the Philippines and central regions of Viet Nam under the influence of the tropical storms Lingfa, Nangka and Saudel, Typhoon Malave and Super Typhoon Goni. In the southern ASEAN region, despite this time of the year typically being the dry season, shower activities were still observed over many areas on most days. There was little variation in average daily rainfall across the southern ASEAN region except for generally dry conditions observed mainly over the regions surrounding the Java Sea and Flores Sea.
Figure 1: Average Daily Rainfall and Mean Wind for October 2020. (Source: JAXA GsMaP and GFS respectively)
1.2 The hotspot counts in the ASEAN region for October 2020 remained relatively low when compared to the same review period in previous years due to wet weather (Figure 2 and Figure 3).
Figure 2: Hotspot counts for the southern ASEAN region for the month of October 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 northern ASEAN region for the month of October 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 hotspots were detected in many parts of the ASEAN region in October 2020, particularly in Kalimantan, the Lesser Sunda Islands, and Sulawesi (Figure 4) during brief periods of drier weather. On a few days in October 2020, localised smoke plumes were observed to emanate from some of the hotspots in Kalimantan. Otherwise, no significant smoke haze was observed.
Figure 4: Distribution of hotspots detected based on NOAA-20 satellite surveillance for October 2020.
Figure 5: Maximum fire intensity based on NOAA-20 satellite surveillance for October 2020.