Singapore Grand Prix weather forecast

Singapore\'s lighting system is tested ahead of the F1 race - but what if it rains?

Singapore's lighting system is tested ahead of the F1 race - but what if it rains?

The weather forecast for the Singapore Grand Prix could play a crucial role in determining the winner of the race.

Even in dry conditions the difference between a hot day and a cold one can determine whether Ferrari and McLaren come out on top. And rain at F1’s first night race will tax the preparedness of the organisers to the maximum.

Here’s a look at weather patterns in Singapore, early predictions for the Grand Prix weekend, and some links and webcams providing information about the local area.

Singapore weather in general

Singapore has two monsoon seasons per year. The Grand Prix coincides with the end of the second of those (the southwest monsoon season) which runs from June to September although, of course, the start and end dates are not exact.

The Singapore meterological office characterises the typical weather in the southwest monsoon season as follows:

Shower/thunderstorm activity occurs between predawn and midday. “Sumatra” squalls are common. Smoke haze is common during days of widespread dry weather. Occasional wind gusts of 12-22m/s. Intense thunderstorm activity lasts less than 30 minutes.

However it claims the chance of thunderstorms during the southwest is much higher in the morning:

During the southwest monsoon season, thunderstorm occurence is high between 0500hrs and 0600hrs.

In terms of temperature:

The diurnal temperature variation is small and is observed to reach highs of 31-33C during the day and lows of 23-25C during the night.

September has an average of 10.8 days of rain in Singapore and 14.9 days of thunder and lightning. The month as a whole is described as:

Generally hazy, with scattered showers/thunderstorms in the late morning and early afternoon. Sumatra-type early morning thunderstorms can still be experienced and during temporary and during temporary incursions of northwesterly winds, late afternoon and early evening showers or thunderstorms are likely.

Information obtained from the National Environment Agency’s Guide to Singapore Weather.

Weather forecasts for the Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore saw above-average rainfall in the first half of September according to the NEA. For the second half of the month it projects a chance of rain but notes that extended dry periods are not uncommon:

Weak Southwest Monsoon conditions will continue to prevail over Singapore and the surrounding region. […] As periods of consecutive dry days are common in the region during the Southwest Monsoon Season, slightly hazy conditions can be expected on a few days.

This information relates to the country as a whole: we’re mainly interested in the site of the Grand Prix, which is in south-central Singapore:

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Weather-watching resources for Singapore

Here are a few links I’ve found for keeping an eye on the Singapore weather.

If you know of any other useful links please post them in the comments.

Singapore shares a border with Malaysia and some of its weather characteristics are very similar. Rain tends to be intense but brief, and the hot, humid atmosphere means surface water dries quickly.

What if it rains…during a night race?

‘Ambitious’ barely does justice to the goal of holding F1’s first ever night race in a climate that often sees very heavy rain.

The organisers claim their lighting system will make the venue three times brighter than at an illuminated football match. But if it rains, will drivers’ visibility be more badly impaired than during a wet race in day time?

It’s not a question I can answer but a friend of mine who lived in Singapore reckoned the authorities will have prepared for every eventuality:

They’ll have the same mentality as the Chinese government did about the Olympics. They’ll want to show the world they are a developed nation and can compete with the best, and will pull out all the stops to make it the most amazing thing ever. They’re very capable, and they won’t have left anything to chance.

I’d be especially interested to here what readers in Singapore make of that viewpoint!


Sunset is projected for 6.59pm on each day of the weekend, which is one minute before free practice one and three start on Friday and Saturday respectively (see the Singapore Grand Prix session times here).

That should make a glorious backdrop for the event – if the sky isn’t obscured by thunder clouds…

Singapore Grand Prix information

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23 comments on Singapore Grand Prix weather forecast


    Very impressive video showing Mclaren preparation to the first night GP…

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th September 2008, 21:22

    Brar – cool video but I’m afraid Andy beat you to it

  3. Internet said on 20th September 2008, 22:20


    How could you have missed the wonderful Singapore preview from Red Bull?

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th September 2008, 22:26

    Internet – I’m going to do something on the track later, that video doesn’t have anything about the weather in it so it wouldn’t have been relevant in this article.

  5. Keith
    sorry for the repeated and slightly off topic video.

    Nice work on this topic. Interesting that Singapore temperatures are relatively high.

    A place with not to much temperature variation between they and night, because of geographical condition and the sea aside.

    But nevertheless it seems will be a greater difference in temperature in the air and even more greater over the black asphalt from the beginning to the end then in other races.

  6. Oh please let there be a thunderstorm with monsoon weather!!

  7. I think this is interesting:

    I was reading what Whitmarsh has said about track temperature and I think it is worth:

    “There is the potential for the temperature to drop, but I suspect it will still be warmer at 21:00 in Singapore than during Friday practice at Monza! We expect the ambient will be around 30 degrees centigrade, the track temperature will cool down for the evening but will still be close to 40 degrees centigrade, unless there is rain.”

  8. Journeyer said on 20th September 2008, 23:59

    “There is the potential for the temperature to drop, but I suspect it will still be warmer at 21:00 in Singapore than during Friday practice at Monza! We expect the ambient will be around 30 degrees centigrade, the track temperature will cool down for the evening but will still be close to 40 degrees centigrade, unless there is rain.”

    I think what Mr. Whitmarsh is trying to say is:

    “If Ferrari win, that’s because it was a hot race.” :P

  9. I guess Bridgestone are getting the soft and super softs (are they?)and if they are, and it doesn’t rain, Ferrari could stitch this one up with the higher temperatures to help them. Ought to be a great race, looking forward to it!

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st September 2008, 0:37

    I guess Bridgestone are getting the soft and super softs (are they?)

    Yep: Singapore street track – circuit information

  11. the limit said on 21st September 2008, 6:15

    I am praying for rain. Both Ferrari’s take each other out early in the race, in wet conditions, Lewis romps away to an almost certain victory, until there is a suspicious, FIA induced power failure, resulting in Hamilton crashing out, and Vettel winning again. Now that would set this site on fire, would it not?

  12. I beleive that a night grand prix was a bad idea from the begining. Comercialaization and sponsors rule Formula 1.They force this weak FIA to act strangely (like spa) in order to keep interest in championship fight or force them to create ‘IDOLS’ with strange rules changes like Shumacher era .Asians Grand Prix are a total failure for any hardcore racing fan(exept long term Suzuka and Fuji).They are still in the calendar only for economic reasons MONEY MONEY MONEY …!Night racing… I hope it rains , a bad accident will be a good reason for FOM to understand that Formula 1 belong to Europe not to rich arabians.
    I would have no problem personally to wake up six o’clock in order to watch a grand prix
    For the race it is very difficult to predict a result.I am a McLaren fan but I believe that rainy conditions doesnt mean Lewis will have the edge ,it is very different to drive in wet day conditions and wet night conditions.For sure the best drivers will cope better with difficult conditions , this mean Rosberg , Barrichelo, Alonso, Webber , Hamilton and of course …Nakatzima…I’m kiding!

  13. Does anyone know what the likely track temperature is going to be?
    It may be about 27 degrees in air temperature at night but that doesn’t mean the track surface will be that hot. With no sun to keep the temp in the road surface wouldn’t it just get cooler as the ‘race day’ goes on instead of hotter as the teams would be used to at most circuits. The track temperature is far more important than the air temp. If for example it rains in the afternoon and then sunsets – are we going to end up with an extremely cold track or is it so hot in Singapore this would not be the case?

  14. Journeyer said on 21st September 2008, 11:35

    ‘I hope it rains, a bad accident will be a good reason for FOM to understand that Formula 1 belong to Europe not to rich arabians.’

    It couldn’t get any worse than Imola 1994, but they stayed there for 10 more years anyway. If other formulae can race at night, why not F1? And F1 is a global sport now. That European mindset was dropped way, way back… as far back as the 1970s, in fact. Saying F1 belongs to Europe is a huge disrespect to its fans outside Europe, especially to those in Asia like me.

  15. Firstly I don’t have anything against asian fans.But I am from Greece and I would never say that a Grand prix in Athens or anywhere else is a good proposal because we don’t have any racing history or racing soul.I would be happy because there will be a very goodchance to watch a gp without paying a lot of money but it would be a failure .2006 I went to turkey GP It was a flop no organization no good paddocks NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING.When I was in silverstone it was something else you could feel the heart beet of racing in this circuit magnificent feeling tremendous experience.
    I have no problem with gp like suzuka fuji :historic circuits with tradition in racing .On the other hand it is sad to see a gp like shepang or Abu Dahbi They just have nothing to do with F1 ,some rich guys and some wealthy companies force bernie and the teams to move the heart of F1 to East providing nothing more than money

    REDUCE THE COSTS ;Formula 1 doesnt need petrodollars ,Formula 1 is’t politics isn’t money isn’t helman tilke’s circuits



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