To extend the observation network of real-time weather monitoring systems, the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) has also installed an aerosol LIDAR on Jurong Island to measure the local distribution of particulate matter in the atmosphere, as well as a wind LIDAR.
This adds to the more than 60 automatic weather stations, a lightning detection system, weather radar and wind profiler in the network.
The aerosol LIDAR can measure the vertical extent of particulate matter to heights of about 12km, and provide an indication of upper level transboundary haze drifting into Singapore, MSS said. While it cannot differentiate particle size, it can also detect ash from volcanic eruptions in the region.
The wind LIDAR measures the vertical profile of wind speed and direction up to 12km above the ground level, and will complement MSS’ existing wind profiler and enhance the real-time monitoring of upper-level winds, which affect the movement of weather systems and haze over Singapore.
“These new instruments can tell us not just the concentration of PM2.5 in the air but at different levels of the atmosphere and how they move according to wind conditions and atmospheric conditions,” said Minister of Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, who was briefed on the usage of the new technologies on Monday.
“We are still studying it but in the future I’m quite sure these can be used for even finer forecasts by the hour, making it more predictable for the public,” he added.