Ok, the weather has officially gone off the deep end! We’ve been having the hottest weather ever in the past weeks thanks to El Nino, and just the day before yesterday, Malaysians were melting like ice cream as the maximum temperature hit 35°C. But on 22 Jan, it HAILED in Shah Alam for 10 minutes! Seriously, it.hailed.in.Shah.Alam! Don’t believe, watch this:
Isn’t it amazeballs?! We replayed the video a couple of times. 😀
Residents were posting pictures of hailstones the size of 20 sen coins online. For many of them, it was shocking and glorious at the same time coz they’ve never seen it before with their own eyes. Most of us in the CILISOS team have also never experienced it, so naturally we were intrigued. In case you tak pernah see, hailstones really look like ice cubes you would put into a drink.
Now before you call us katak di bawah tempurung, we only meant to clickbait ya’ll #hahagotcha #CILISOSevil. Actually, it has hailed in Malaysia before…not just once, but several times.
Stupid CILISOS! It has hailed in Malaysia before larrr…
In fact it hailed in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, in Johor Bahru and Subang Jaya, etc., in different years. Even Singapore has seen hail more than once. Though some of us might not have been caught in a hailstorm before, lightning experts say it’s a common occurrence.
“There is always this misconception about hailstorms, or ice rain. Many think that it is not possible to have hailstorms in a tropical climate. What people don’t understand is that hail is not snow. Just like mini tornadoes that happen in the country, hailstorms are one of the effects of thunderstorms.” – Hartono Zainal Abidin, Consultant engineer, NST
But how does it happen? Well, when a thunderstorm occurs there’s a lot of strong air, right? Strong currents of rising air (called updrafts) carry water droplets high into the sky. It goes up, up, up, above freezing level, so that the water becomes ice (hail). As it goes higher, the ice chunk grows bigger, until it’s heavy enough for gravity to pull it down to earth. Most of the time, hailstones are pretty small. To get bigger ones, the updraft really needs to be strong enough to carry the ice chunk in the air long enough for it to keep growing bigger.
Usually, hailstones melt before they reach the ground, so technically, you could say that the normal rain we ALL know are post-hailstones..? Sort of?
But while the weather in Malaysia has been swinging from one extreme to another, we are not alone…
Weather around the whole world also giler aldy
Thailand is so close to Malaysia and usually like us, it is hot and humid in their country most of the year. But two days ago, temperatures in Bangkok dropped to 17.5°C. In fact, the Thai Meteorological Department predicts temperatures to be between 18°C-20°C this coming week. The coldest they’ve ever seen in Bangkok is 15.6°C and that was so recent in 2014. But in northern Thailand, it’s worse: 6°C-10°C.
Though we sorta have the same climate, Malaysia doesn’t experience such low temperatures except record lows between 16°C-18°C in previous times. That’s not in the highlands la, coz the highlands memang colder. However, Thai experts warned that severe weather changes are happening in their country.
“It’s far too cold for me. Hong Kong is supposed to be warm. This is not Hong Kong.” – eyewitness in Hong Kong, Straits, BBC
On top of that, South Korea’s Jeju island had its biggest snowfall in three decades, forcing hundreds of flights to be cancelled and 90,000 visitors stranded when the authorities shut the airports. Then, China issued an orange alert (the second most serious one after red alert) to prepare their people for a cold wave sweeping cross the nation as they experienced their coldest weather in decades.
Is that all? Nope! Now it’s Japan’s turn. 5 died and more than 100 people were injured due to snow and severe weather. One of their subtropical islands – Amami Island – saw snow for the first time in 115 years!
Whoa, whoa, WHOA! What is going on with the weather?!! Is Elsa from Frozen on the rampage or something?
Blame it on… *drum roll* bigass China’s dam
Ok la… not just China, but Russia, Canada, Brazil, and other mid-latitude countries, but didja know that dams are altering the Earth’s axis rotation?!
China’s Three Gorges Dam (not 3 gorgeous damsels), completed in 2012, is the world’s largest hydroelectric power station by total capacity. But scientists claim that dams in general, are altering the Earth’s rotation. Basically, this is how the Earth axis rotation works. Imagine the Earth skewered on a stick like a sate:
So as it spins, it’s still held in place by that sate stick right? What scientists believe is that dams shift the distribution of the Earth’s water. More water is closer to the Earth’s axis (stick) and it is being slightly tilted by the weight of so much water. Aiya, but at the end of the day, what dams effects are dam small oni. It increases the length of a day by like 0.06 microseconds. We’d hardly notice a thing!
Though it sounds funny and whether you believe it or not, dams are known to have other impacts on the environment. In the past, it was thought that dams are responsible for 4% of the Earth’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions being released, besides hurting the environment in various other ways. Yet, recent studies claim that dams may provide resilience to climate change. OMG aiyoooo, can the Earth make up its mind whether it wants to be ok or not?
Seriously though, if it’s not the dams, the other possible cause is…
*drum continues rolling*… global warming
(DON’T CLOSE THIS PAGE YET. plsplslps.)
Technically if we blame global warming, we’re blaming ourselves.
Though some people believe that global warming and climate change is a total HOAX, the idea is that human activities which are detrimental to the environment, are gradually increasing the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, permanently changing the climate, and making ice caps melt and the polar bears very sad.
Scientists are putting it down to human being’s use of fossil fuels in our daily lives – we use fossil fuels to to drive cars, generate electricity, and operate our homes and businesses. However, even if a couple of scientists agree on this, Forbes wrote that it doesn’t in any way imply that we should restrict fossil fuels which are crucial to the livelihood of billions on this planet. Isn’t that true?
But if you’re a concerned Earth citizen, how about driving an electric car? Choose one from this list. Or you could take the BRT. Not only is it carpooling, the buses are electric too. Better yet, we’re in favour of stopping tropical deforestation. Which means Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil need to take serious action to control the chopping down of trees! Here are 50 other ways you can help the planet.
So, is global warming really the one causing weird weather individually in different countries and making it hail in Malaysia?
Honestly, it’s the weather, ugaiz. Who knows how it works. BUTTT, the fact remains that we are hurting the planet. And we only have one planet. Let’s treasure it.