Recent news on drop in temperature in some parts of the peninsula had created quite a buzz…some got excited and some scared. Did the Earth actually tilt or is it just pure winter wind?
Kuala Krai, my hometown, where Mercury touched a record low 17C in Jan 2014 was made famous by that phenomena and the temperature had somewhat continued to stay below or around 20C during early morning throughout the month, even until today.
The cold temperature of recent time was most likely be due to the cold winter wind from northern hemisphere, blowing southwards to where the variation favours, assisted by monsoon winds from north-eastern seas. We saw many regions in Europe, Russia, the USA and Canada suffered severe winter storm during the same time when mercury dropped in South East Asia and snow was reported on Indonesian mountains and frost on Mount Kinabalu.
So why Kuala Krai happen to feel this effect more than others? Of course because Allah wants it that way but we also need to understand more on how it happen, this knowledge should not drive us away from the Creator but instead draw us closer.
From our limited knowledge, we can make an educated guess that the temperature dip and the fog are due to its unique geographical location and the weather conditions. Slightly different from Besut, where although it is more exposed, it has the sea moderation effects.
Kuala Krai is a town located on the confluence of 2 major rivers that give birth to the Kelantan River ie Lebir & Galas, it sits landlocked right in a middle of a huge ancient valley, the Kelantan river basin / flood plain, at an elevation of less than 200m above sea levels, surrounded by the Timur mountain range on the Eastern border, Titiwangsa range on the West and Tahan range in the south. It is however, exposed on the Northern side, and opened to the effects of wind from north.
In December and January, when northern hemisphere experiences its winter season and the North-eastern monsoon wind lashes the East Coast, cold winds blowing south will come to a halt when it meets with these mountain ranges and the wind will circulate around this valley and causes the temperature to drop.
The wind initially brings huge amount of rain and moisture which will be dumped in the valley, some will flow to the rivers and cause flood while the remaining will be absorbed by the soil. Only dry air crosses over the mountain ranges. Later on, when the wind bring less moisture, due to the many hurricanes / typhoons which occurred earlier during the season in the Pacific and have sucked up the moisture, the change in air humidity will affect the atmospheric pressure which will then cause the water in the soil to rise to the surface as fog. This area can also be dry during other seasons when winds blows from other directions.
So how long will this temperature thing will go on? As far as I can see it, perhaps this will continue until the winter season in northern hemisphere moves to spring and summer as well as when the northern wind changes its direction after the monsoon season.
Are we going to experience it again? If the globe has tilted, we will definitely experience it again sometime next December and January…perhaps we can start to develop winter resorts, grow strawberries and wheat in Kuala Krai, but if the globe is not tilted, then the chances will very much depend on winter severity and wind strength from the North.
Make sense? Only Allah knows best.