Thunderstorms

We’ve had thunderstorms almost daily recently. It’s monsoon season and the wettest time of the year in Singapore is from November to January. The mornings can be super hot – our thermometer is continually showing 50+C in full sun – and the afternoons turn into monsoon rain and storms. I love a good storm and the lightning can be really magnificently shocking (see what I did there?!). Which made me think – how many thunder and lightning storms does Singapore get each year?

Well the answer to that question is 168 days a year sees the island with a storm on it somewhere. There is usually more than one storm per day so that adds up to a lot of storms. They usually occur during the afternoon and evening but can occur anytime.

We’re are currently in the southwest monsoon season and storms usually last for about 30 minutes but we’ve had some really long storms recently with awesome flash and fork lightning. It’s a photographers dream – if only you could be quick enough!

As Singapore is near the equator with a warm and (very) humid (usually over 80% humidity) and a tropical climate, it is ideal conditions for thunderstorm development. Singapore has been dubbed the lightning capital of the world as a result. This title is challenged by DR Congo in Central Africa which is known as the thunderstorm capital of the world where the mountain village of Kifuka, with 158 lightning flashes per square kilometre each year, was thought to be the most electric place on earth.

Quite a few places such as golf courses and schools have lightning alarms that warn everybody to head back indoors as a storm is coming. Pools and astroturf pitches close too. It’s generally better to be indoors during a storm here as the fork lightning hits the ground often. It’s not something I had even had to consider before moving to Singapore!

Stormy Singapore makes even more sensational than it already is!

iPhone images and video

Lightning in a storm
A 4:31min video of part of a storm

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