Fox News Weather Center

Drought Worsens in Malaysia and Thailand

An extended period of dry weather across Malaysia and southern Thailand has led to water shortages, agricultural problems and the threat for wildfires.

The last measurable rainfall of more than 1 mm (0.04 of an inch) in Singapore was Jan. 12, when the city reported 18 mm (0.72 of an inch).

It has now been more than 40 days since the city recorded more than 1 mm (0.04 of an inch), making it one of the longest stretches for dry weather in the recorded history of the city.

For more perspective on the severity of the drought, Singapore has reported less than 75 mm (3 inches) of rain since Jan. 1, which is less than 20 percent of the normal 398 mm (15.67 inches) that falls through Feb. 23.

The drought has begun to impact agriculture across both Malaysia and Thailand, including the crops of rice and rubber.

Drinking water shortages have also become a concern and could result in hundreds of thousands of people seeing their water supplies run dry in the coming weeks if rain does not return.

Rainfall over the next several weeks appears to be minimal across the entire region which will likely lead to worsening conditions for people, livestock and agriculture.

Another rising concern is that a continuation of the dry weather already impacting the region will result in an increased risk for wildfires during the spring and summer months.

Wildfires in Sumatra last summer resulted in dangerous air quality across much of Malaysia and that threat will likely return this summer as well.