Heavy Rains Persist in Parts of Indonesia Amid Hot Weather

Indonesia's BMKG warns of heavy rainfall, lightning, and strong winds in several provinces despite hot weather. The agency attributes the contrasting weather patterns to the country's seasonal dynamics and global warming.

Momen Zellmi
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Heavy Rains Persist in Parts of Indonesia Amid Hot Weather

Heavy Rains Persist in Parts of Indonesia Amid Hot Weather

Despite increasingly hot weather, still, normal sweeping across Indonesia, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) warns that several provinces still face the potential for heavy rainfall accompanied by lightning, strong winds, tornadoes, and hail. The affected areas include Bali, Bangka Belitung, Banten, Gorontalo, Jambi, West Java, East Java, West Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, and Lampung.

Why this matters: The contrasting weather patterns in Indonesia have significant implications for public safety, infrastructure, and the economy. As extreme weather events become more frequent due to climate change, it is essential to improve early warning systems and disaster preparedness to minimize losses and protect vulnerable communities.

The BMKG issued an early warning for these provinces on Friday, May 3, 2024, advising residents to take necessary precautions. Teguh Rahayu, Head of the Bandung BMKG Geophysics Station, explained that the current hot weather is caused by the sun's apparent movement near the equator, a normal annual cycle that leads to higher air temperatures in the equatorial region due to maximum solar radiation.

Most regions in Indonesia are currently experiencing a transition from the rainy to the dry season, which can trigger extreme patterns. Rahayu noted, "It's a normal cycle and happens annually." During this transition, the weather often forms a pattern of rainy evenings after hot and dry conditions during the day, triggered by heavy solar radiation.

In Bandung, the BMKG Geophysics Station recorded rising air temperatures, with the highest reaching 30.6 degrees Celsius on April 30, 2024. Although still within the city's normal range, Bandung's highest maximum temperature on record is 35.8 degrees Celsius, observed on October 8, 2023. The highest temperature forecast for the West Java region is around 35-37 degrees Celsius.

Despite the heat, heavy rains have triggered floods and landslides in parts of Sulawesi. Six districts in South Sulawesi have been affected, with residents buried and swept away by water. The Trans-Sulawesi road in North Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi, was also paralyzed due to flooding. The highest rainfall intensity was recorded in the Sulawesi region on May 2-3, 2024, with 97 mm of rainfall at the Syukuran Aminudin Amir Meteorological Station in Banggai.

Guswanto, Deputy for Meteorology at BMKG, stated that cyclonic circulation in the northern South China Sea and a convergence zone stretching from Aceh to Riau have contributed to the heavy rains. He added, "These conditions increase the potential for rain cloud growth around cyclonic circulation areas and along convergence zones." Guswanto also noted that while some seasonal zones in Indonesia will enter the dry season in April and May 2024, the rainy season is still ongoing in other areas.

Climate experts attribute the extreme weather patterns to a combination of Indonesia's currentlatestdynamics and global warming. Alvaro Silva, a climate expert from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), explained that the excess energy trapped in the atmosphere and oceans due to human-caused greenhouse gases has a significant impact on the occurrence of extreme heat currently hitting the Asian region.

As Indonesia grapples with the contrasting weather conditions, the BMKG continues to monitor the situation closely and issue timelyweather, bulletin, shippingto ensure public safety. The agency forecasts that rainfall will decrease in the first ten days of May 2024 in West Java, while the potential for significant rainfall persists in most of Sumatra, western and central Java, parts of Kalimantan and Sulawesi, Maluku, and most of Papua.

Key Takeaways

  • BMKG warns of heavy rainfall, lightning, strong winds, tornadoes, and hail in 13 Indonesian provinces.
  • Contrasting weather patterns pose risks to public safety, infrastructure, and the economy.
  • Hot weather in Indonesia is caused by the sun's apparent movement near the equator.
  • Climate change contributes to extreme weather events, making early warning systems crucial.
  • BMKG forecasts rainfall decrease in West Java, but persists in other regions.