Characteristics of Monsoon
The southwest monsoon is comparatively drier throughout the country except for the state of Sabah in East Malaysia. During this season, most states experience monthly rainfall minimum (typically 100 - 150 mm). This is attributed to relatively stable atmospheric conditions in the equatorial region. In particular, the dry condition in Peninsular Malaysia is accentuated by the rain shadow effect of the Sumatran mountain range. Sabah is relatively wetter (exceeding 200 mm) due to the tail effect of typhoons which frequently traverse the Philippine islands in their journey across the South China Sea and beyond.
During the intermonsoon periods, winds are light and variable. Morning skies are often clear and this favours thunderstorm development in the afternoon. In the west coast states of Peninsular Malaysia, thunderstorms contribute to a mean monthly rainfall maximum in each of the two transition periods.
Weather Advisories and Warnings
The Malaysian Meteorological Service monitors closely the changing weather situation and issues weather statements, outlooks, advisories and warnings when the need arises. The different categories of monsoon advisories and warnings are :
These severe weather advisories and warnings are published in the newspapers and broadcasted over radio and television.