BMKG Reports Heatwave Persists Throughout October, South Tangerang to Reach 39° Celcius

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency of Indonesia (BMKG) has issued a report indicating that an intense heatwave, with temperatures soaring up to 37 degrees Celsius, is currently affecting most parts of the country.

The latest BMKG findings reveal an alarming development as daily temperature records in Tangerang Selatan, taken from 07:00 on the 16th of October to 07:00 on the 17th of October 2023, have reached a scorching 39.4 degrees Celsius. This region encompasses areas like Ciputat Timur, Tangerang Selatan, and Banten.

Miming Saepudin, the Head of the Forecasting Division at BMKG, disclosed that between 1991 and 2021, maximum temperatures in major cities located south of the equator in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Semarang, and Surabaya, typically peaked during the September-October period.

“On the 29th of September 2023, a record-high maximum temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius was observed in the Greater Jakarta region,” he reported on Tuesday, the 17th of October.

Furthermore, temperature readings at the Kertajati Meteorological Station soared to 39 degrees Celsius, while the Mutiara Sis Al-Jufri Meteorological Station registered 38 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the Banten Climatology Station and the South Sulawesi Climatology Station both recorded temperatures at a sweltering 37.9 degrees Celsius.

Didi Satiadi, a researcher at the Climate and Atmosphere Research Center of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), shed light on various factors contributing to the soaring temperatures in the Tangerang Selatan region.

Broadly speaking, he explained, the hot weather is driven by several atmospheric dynamics, including clear skies, minimal cloud formation, and low humidity levels that dominate many parts of Indonesia, including the Greater Jakarta area. The sun’s position in the sky is also a significant factor influencing this heatwave.

In addition to atmospheric dynamics, other factors influencing the scorching weather in Indonesia and Jakarta include wind speed, cloud cover, and air humidity levels.

“This extreme heatwave phenomenon is expected to persist throughout the month of October,” he warned.

Miming Saepudin emphasized that what people experience during such hot weather is the “feels-like” temperature. “This is a term used to describe the sensation of temperature perceived by humans based on a combination of air temperature, humidity levels, and other factors such as wind speed and sunlight,” he stated.

For November, BMKG forecasts that certain regions of Indonesia will enter a transitional season, with anticipated rainfall in some areas and lower air temperatures.

Key factors contributing to the 2023 extreme heatwave in Indonesia:

Source: BMKG

According to BMKG, in an official statement on its website, the factors influencing the persistent heatwave that has gripped Indonesia in recent months include:

  1. Apparent Sun’s Movement: The sun is currently positioned around the equator (around the 22nd-23rd of September, it was directly above the equator), allowing for optimum solar radiation. This is indicated by maximum air temperature monitoring results ranging from 34.0 to 37.5 °C (still within the normal range of maximum temperatures based on 30-year climatological data, which varies from 34.0 to 37.5 °C).
  2. The influx of Cold and Dry Air Mass: Cold and dry air masses are flowing from Australia towards Indonesia, particularly in the southern equatorial regions, encompassing Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara. This condition is characterized by air humidity levels of less than 60% at altitudes of 3,000 m and 5,000 m above sea level.

BMKG urges the public to prioritize their health and stay well-hydrated during this scorching heatwave.

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Natalia is a Visual Communication Design baccalaureate and a writing aficionado based in Jakarta, Indonesia. An impulsive lover of knowledge, especially in art, literature, culture and health, who insists to share of her findings through words. Her comfort nestles around writing poems or short excerpts, but she has also developed experience in writing articles and journals.

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