While Greater Jakarta is experiencing heavy rains this August, hundreds of hot spots have begun to appear in West Kalimantan in recent weeks. Several areas have experienced land fires.
AHMAD ARIF/ NIKSON SINAGA/Emanuel Edi Saputra
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JAKARTA, KOMPAS - Heavy rains falling over Greater Jakarta and western Bandung in West Java on Thursday (5/8/2021) — when the dry season should be at its peak — occurred due to the anomaly of warm sea surface temperatures in Indonesian waters. The increasingly fluctuating weather is one of the markers of climate change.
The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency’s (BMKG) public meteorology center head, Fachri Radjab, said heavy rains in Greater Jakarta were caused by the confluence of winds and strong fluctuations in the atmosphere that triggered the formation of clouds on a local scale.
"The potential for rain is still possible for the next three days," he said.
Apart from Greater Jakarta, other areas with the potential for moderate-intensity rain include Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Riau, North Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Central Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Maluku, North Maluku, West Papua and Papua.
BMKG climate change information center head Dodo Gunawan said that apart from Greater Jakarta, rain on Thursday was also observed from the western part of Bandung to Purwakarta regency, also in West Java.
"Like the forecast for the dry season that we have released, we are currently facing a relatively wet dry season because we have just passed the La Nina phenomenon," he said.
Dodo added that the current El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index was still normal and predicted to last until early 2022.
"In fact, there are two meteorological centers in the world that predict the ENSO index is still in a La Nina pattern," he said.
According to Dodo, the ocean surface across Indonesia is experiencing a temperature anomaly, meaning that cloud condensation is very likely to effect rain drops.
Based on the seasonal zone, Greater Jakarta should be entering the dry season, which is marked by low rainfall.
"So, the current phenomenon is also being influenced by global climate change," Dodo said.
So, in terms of the scale of climate change, there has been a shift and the weather has become more fluctuating.
He added that the daily weather pattern was very dynamic, but the triggering factors of rain anomaly at the peak of the dry season in Indonesia were usually influenced by the Indian Ocean Dipole, ENSO and Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) phenomena. However, currently, these three factors are not active.
“So, in terms of the scale of climate change, there has been a shift and the weather has become more fluctuating,” he said.
While Greater Jakarta is experiencing heavy rains this August, hundreds of hot spots have begun to appear in West Kalimantan in recent weeks. Several areas have experienced land fires, but anticipatory measures have managed to contain the flames.
The regions have prepared anticipatory steps, ranging from patrols to the revitalization of reservoirs as water sources. Based on the monitoring of the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (Lapan), there have been 180 hot spots in West Kalimantan for the last 24 hours until Thursday (5/8), scattered over 10 regencies, with Sanggau regency showing the most with 77 hot spots.
Tens of hectares of forest and land – in the hills of Lake Toba in Samosir and Karo regencies, North Sumatra — have also been burned. Fire personnel found it difficult to reach the raging fires in the steep hills on Thursday.
Anggiat SP Sinaga, the head of the Manggala Agni Sumatra II Operational Area of Pematang Siantar, said the uncontained fires in the hills of Lake Toba had started from the hot spots at Tongging and Sibolangit villages, Merek district, Karo gegency.