[p] Monsoon is coming..

The word “monsoon” is derived from the Arabic word “mausim” which means season. Ancient traders plying in the Indian Ocean and adjoining Arabian Sea used it to describe a system of alternating winds which blow persistently from the northeast during the northern winter and from the opposite direction, the southwest, during the northern summer.

Monsoon is caused by land-sea temperature differences due to heating by the sun’s radiation. In winter, the continental landmass cools rapidly resulting in extremely low temperatures over central Asia. As temperature drops, atmospheric pressure rises and an intense high pressure system (anticyclone) develops over Siberia. Cold air flows out of Siberia as north-westerlies and turns into north-easterlies on reaching the coastal waters of China before heading towards Southeast Asia.

From time to time, strong outbursts of cold air (termed as monsoon surges) interact with low pressure atmospheric systems and cyclonic vortices are formed near the equator resulting in strong winds and high seas in the South China Sea and heavy rainfall to east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia as well as the west coast of Sarawak in East Malaysia.

In summer, intense solar heating leads to scorching temperatures over the Asian landmass. As hot air expands and rises upwards, a semi-permanent low-pressure area develops. Moist south-easterlies originating from the southern Indian Ocean and the Indonesian-Australian region transforms into south-westerlies on crossing the equator and flow across Southeast Asia before converging towards Indochina, China and Northwest Pacific.

Most of resorts (over Malaysia) will be closed during the northeast monsoon season from November to early March, which sees bouts of heavy rain and rough seas. Perhentian Island, Redang Island, Lang Tengah Island, Bidong Island, Kapas Island, Gemia Island and Tenggol Island has a tropical climate with daily temperatures between 25 Celsius to 35 Celsius and relative humidity between 80-89%.

Resorts at islands open during the non-monsoon months from as early as mid February to mid or end of October. Different resorts have different specific opening and closing dates but all are open by 1 March and close by 1 Nov. The best time to visit is between April to September when seas are generally calm. The sea may begin to get choppy close to monsoon season. As Redang can get pretty crowded during Malaysian Holiday and long weekends, avoid these holidays if you to plan your trip.

The busiest months are from May to August, particularly during June school holidays in Malaysia. March and October are perfect for almost empty beaches. Going at different times of the year may also offer seasonal encounters with certain marine life. Green turtles usually nest in their greatest numbers in June, July and August while September is probably the best month to spot migratory whale sharks.

So, please plan your visit, happy monsoon holiday & see you in 2013

Article source from www.met.gov.my & www.depenarikbeach.com.my

Photos courtesy of www.azamsaad.com


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