Singapore, March 17: Singapore is in the midst of an unusual heatwave, with temperatures comparable to the warmest March on record expected over the next fortnight.
People on Thursday were seen cooling off in water fountains amid warnings that temperatures could rise to a high of around 36 degrees Celsius -- or 9 degrees Celsius higher than is usual for this time of year, EFE news reported.
In an advisory this week, the National Environment Agency told people to "expect very warm temperatures" this month, with a mean monthly temperature comparable to that of the warmest March on record; 29.5 degrees Celsius in 1998.
"The warmer conditions that we are experiencing are due to the continuing influence of the El Nino and the presence of a dry and warm air mass over the region. The occurrence of the equinox is another contributing factor to the warm temperatures during this time of the year," the agency said.
The equinox, which will occur on Sunday, is an astronomical event when the sun's direct rays cross over the Earth's equator.
Elsewhere in Asia, Thailand is also experiencing unusually hot temperatures.
The Thai Meteorological Department said today that "hot weather over Thailand especially very hot weather in several areas over upper Thailand" can be expected this week.