Wednesday, 26 June 2013

From Haze to Hail

Singapore hailstorm is not toxic according to NEA
Hailstones. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hailstones.jpg" target="_blank">Bdahl/Wikipedia</a>

A hailstorm that hit certain cities in western Singapore Tuesday is not toxic, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a conference.

According to the NEA the hail is caused by supercooled water drops that freeze upon contacting particles in the air during thunderstorms. The agency added that pollutants known as PM2.5 and PM10 are only hazardous when inhaled.

The National Environment Agency said in a statement that the hailstorm that hit western Singapore Tuesday was not toxic.

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Haze doesn’t change safety of Singapore’s water: Vivian Balakrishnan
Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan helps a public waste disposal worker put on an N95 mask correctly, to ensure he is taking adequate precautions should the haze worsen. (Yahoo! photo)

Haze has had "absolutely no impact" on the quality of water for public consumption, said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan.

Speaking on Wednesday morning at the sidelines of a visit to Chestnut Waterworks, a processing plant that controls one-third of the nation's water supply, Balakrishnan said the system of filtration and water purification for Singapore's tap water has built-in redundancies, and that the water flowing through the country's taps is as clean as it was pre-haze season.

"PUB has been monitoring water quality quite obsessively over the past couple of weeks and the first point to note is that there has been absolutely no impact on the quality of our water, both in terms of the raw water and the treated water we are putting out to the public," he said. 

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NEA: Hail not related to cloud seeding, rain is not toxic
Broken-off branches in carpark are seen in Bukit Batok.&nbsp;Residents in the western end of Singapore are reporting incidences of hail.&nbsp;-- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Broken-off branches in carpark are seen in Bukit Batok. Residents in the western end of Singapore are reporting incidences of hail. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has confirmed that the hail that some residnets, particularly those living in the western parts of Singapore experienced, is not caused by the cloud seeding in Indonesia. 

It said in a briefing on Tuesday evening, that clouds do not travel that far and the clouds would be going in the wrong direction if it was related as the wind is currently blowing the haze away from Singapore. 

Asked if the hail was related to the haze, NEA would only say that it was a possibility but could not give a confirmation. It added that the heavy downpour on Tuesday afternoon was not toxic.

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Singapore Hailstorm Not Toxic, Agency Says
A Singapore hailstorm on Tuesday helped clear up the haze clouding the city-state for the past few weeks. 

The hailstorm affected several parts of Singapore, and a National Environment Agency spokesman assured the public–telling Yahoo News and other media–that it was not toxic.

The Singapore environment agency denied claims that cloud-seeding caused the hailstorm, reported the Asia One website.

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From Mask to Helmet, Hailstorm Pounds on Singapore, No Relation to Cloud Seeding Over Indonesia
From Mask to Helmet, Hailstorm Pounds on Singapore, No Relation to Cloud Seeding Over Indonesia

A hailstorm, by far a very rare occurrence in Singapore, pounded the island nation on Tuesday. But government environment authorities stressed the weather disturbance has no relation at all to the ongoing cloud seeding over Indonesia.

The hailstorm, which started in western Singapore at around 3 pm on Tuesday and affected several parts of Singapore, was considered a welcome relief as it managed to somehow lift the haze clouding the city-state for the past few weeks now.

The country's National Environment Agency (NEA) immediately clarified the hailstorm experience does not have any relation at all to the ongoing cloud seeding over in neighbour Indonesia. And most importantly, it was not toxic

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Hailstorm in western Singapore brings respite from heavy haze
Hailstones
The hailstorm which hit certain parts of western Singapore is not toxic, a National Environment Agency (NEA) spokesman assured in a media conference


The agency added that hail is caused by supercooled water droplets freezing on contact with particles in the air, such as dust, during a thunderstorm, and PM2.5 and PM10 are only hazardous when inhaled. NEA was unable to confirm if the hailstorm was brought about by the haze.

The last reported hailstorm in Singapore took place about five years ago, on 27 March 2008.

Residents in western Singapore reported seeing hail falling from the skies at about 3pm on Tuesday. Heavy rain, accompanied by gusty winds, started around 3pm in areas including Jurong and Bukit Batok – a welcome respite for Singaporeans who only recently endured over a week of record-breaking haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia.

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Singapore Hailstorm Probably Caused By Wildfires
Singapore Hailstorm Probably Caused By Wildfires

Singapore has experienced a rare hailstorm today, and it’s thought to be the product of freezing rain mixed with tiny dust particles coming from the wildfire smoke that’s spread from Indonesia.

No damage was reported from the hail, and it reportedly melted as soon as it hit the ground. However, it could be just one more symptom that Singapore has to deal with concerning the wildfires, which created a haze thick enough to jack up the pollutant index to 155 last week, the highest it had been since 2006. Singapore officials pleaded with Indonesia to get control of the fires, which caused a bit of a back-and-forth between their ministries.

“The slash-and-burn technique being used is the cheapest land-clearing method and it is not only used by local farmers, but also employees of palm oil investors including Singaporean and Malaysian companies,” Indonesian Ministry official Hadi Daryanto said. “We hope the governments of Malaysia and Singapore will tell their investors to adopt proper measures so we can solve this problem together.”

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NASA: AIR POLLUTION HELPS FUEL HAILSTORMS, TORNADOES


Hailstorm and tornado activity increases in the middle of the work week (Tuesday-Thursday) compared to weekends. Weekly cycles in weather behavior are a clear sign of human influence on our climate. The weekly cycle is believed to be caused by the well-known weekly changes in pollution levels with the day of the week.

Aerosol pollution decreases the size of water droplets coalescing in clouds. They are lighter and don’t fall out as rain, but instead rise to much higher altitudes where they freeze and release additional heat. This invigorates the storm and produces more ice aloft. This might explain the increase in hailstorms as well as the increase in lightning that has also been observed.

It is conjectured by Rosenfeld and Bell, based on numerical model simulations, that storms, amped up by pollution, nevertheless produce weaker cold pools at their base. Tornadoes develop less easily when a cold, rapidly moving pool forms beneath the storm. By weakening cold pool formation, pollution may lead to storms with better chances of forming a tornado than is the case for storms formed in clear 

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Rare Singapore hailstorm pelts island nation
Rare Singapore hailstorm pelts island nation

A rare Singapore hailstorm pelted the island nation's western side on Tuesday. The cause of the hail was not thought to be the heavy haze that has shrouded the country for days. According to Yahoo News on June 25, 2013, it was the first hailstorm in over five years.

The Singapore hailstorm was caused when super cooled droplets of water come into contact with tiny dust particles and freeze during a thunderstorm. The NEA could not confirm is the worst haze in the country’s history that has been hanging over the island since last week caused the hail. The haze was thought to come from uncontrolled burning in Indonesia

The last reported Singapore hailstorm occurred on March 27, 2008. No damage has been reported yet. The hail reverted back into water immediately upon contact with the ground. The NEA also reported that the hail was not caused by cloud seeding in Indonesia either. The hail did bring some respite from the heavy haze though.

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Hailstorm hits western Singapore
 Hail in western Singapore
Residents in western Singapore reported seeing hail falling from the skies at about 3pm on Tuesday

Heavy rain, accompanied by gusty winds, started around 3pm in areas including Jurong and Bukit Batok – a welcome respite for Singaporeans who only recently endured over a week of record-breaking haze caused by forest fires in Indonesia.

Musician Laura Tang, 24, was near West Coast Park when she noticed the hail. "The wind suddenly turned very cold, and these crystal-like stones started raining down," she said.

"It was very frightening. I could not believe my eyes," she added.

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Hail reported in west of Singapore
Hail reported in west of Singapore
Hail and rain have been falling in the Northwest and North regions of Singapore  (Photo: Screen grab from YouTube) 

Singaporeans have been praying for rain after many days of haze and heat, but they got more than they bargained for.

In addition to rain, they got hailstones as well.

Facebook users have been reporting hail at about 3pm in the Northwest and western parts of Singapore, namely Lim Chu Kang, Lakeside, Bukit Batok and Jurong.

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HAIL HITS WEST SINGAPORE

Rain has finally come to Singapore and citizens hope that this will help to wash away some of the haze in the air

It is unknown if the rain is a product of seeding or whether it is just a natural occurence

However, the rain appears to be very heavy with hail falling in some parts of Singapore. The hail has been seen in the western parts of Singapore. 

See all the other photos and videos on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/therealsingapore 

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From Haze to Hail

"Hail" reported in the western end of Singapore
Residents in the western end of Singapore are reporting incidences of hail. Hail is a form of solid precipitation and consists of irregular lumps of ice. -- PHOTO: YANG MIN
Hail is a form of solid precipitation and consists of irregular lumps of ice

Residents in the western end of Singapore are reporting incidences of hail.

Mr Lucas Ho, 28, playwright and teacher said: "The torrent came in a five-minute burst; something was clanging on my windows and I went to my front door to see what was going on. I never thought I'd see hail in Singapore."

There is no indication at the moment if the hail stones are related to the haze.

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'Hail' reported in the western end of Singapore



A video was posted on Facebook by Vivian Tian in which she revealed tiny ice cubes were falling with the rain in her vicinity.

Other Facebook users as well as contributors to citizen journalism website Stomp also sent in pictures showing that it is hailing on the west side of Singapore.

Stomp contributor Foo said: "Hailing in Singapore! I thought stones were flung into my balcony when i saw it was ice cubes!"

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Cars destroyed by fallen trees during heavy rain in western S'pore


Several readers have written in to report damage caused by heavy rain over in the western part of Singapore.

According to pictures and contributions submitted to citizen journalism website Stomp, the storm disrupted traffic and caused trees to fall on cars.

Natnuahs, who contributed a photo of a tree which had fallen on a car, said: "The tree fell on a car after strong winds and a hail storm in Jurong.

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Haze #sghaze

– Singapore Man of Leisure: The Haze - Did you notice your emotional reactions?
– Breakfast Network: The maze under the haze
– Chemical Generation Singapore: Are Sg Companies Complicit in the Indonesian Haze?
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: “Stop-work” call wasn’t to be taken literally: Activist
– The Taj: 7 types of Singaporeans during the haze crisis.
– My Thinking Out Loud: How to cheaply convert your air-con into an air purifier
– I On Singapore: Transboundary Haze Pollution: Time for new laws to nab culprits?
– TRE: Shanmugam clarifies his directorships in AFP & Golden Agri
– BBC: Asian mega-smog’s smoky source in Sumatra
– PetuniaLee™: Pointing Fingers at The PAP Government
– Mama wear Papa Shirt: Making the best of the haze days
– Breakfast Network: All hail the Indonesian President!
– Blogging for Myself: Graciously accepting SBY apology
– Where Bears Roam Free: Indo apologizes for haze, will Sg apologise for dirty funds?
– Everything Also Complain: Sinar Mas and APRIL blamed for haze
– Loh and Behold: On A Clear Day, You Can See Bullshit
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Why Plan “Suffocate S’poreans” failed?
– The Heart Truths: Working And Living In The Haze And Dust In Singapore
– The media Slut: A haze to remember on a sunny Singapore day
– The Dead Cockroach: What The Hail?
– New Nation: S’poreans blame PAP, Vivian Balakrishnan for hailstorm
– Eight percent per annum: 3M: Trees – Mass Destructed, Masks and Madness
– SOMETIMES WORDS HELP: Breathable air a basic need I didn’t appreciate till last wk
– wildsingapore news: How corruption is fuelling the haze

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Hailing in Singapore!

 Hail in western Singapore
 Hail in western Singapore
 Hail in western Singapore
 Hail in western Singapore
 Hail in western Singapore
 Hail in western Singapore
Hail in western Singapore
Hail in western Singapore
Hail in western Singapore
Hailstorm in western Singapore

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