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Ho Chi Minh City revels in blue sky, fresh air after social distancing

Monday, May 11, 2020, 13:27 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City revels in blue sky, fresh air after social distancing
The Landmark 81 skyscraper in Binh Thanh District is visible from Bach Dang Wharf in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Despite the atmospheric pressure remaining consistently high, Ho Chi Minh City has been enjoying the last few days of azure skies and improved visibility.

This is widely attributed to the impact of the social distancing period, which lasted 22 days and started on April 1.

The social distancing period brought about inactive factories and a dramatic reduction of cars on the roads.

These past few days after the social distancing period, residents in Ho Chi Minh City have been used to seeing skies with few clouds, even crystal-clear ones offering good visibility.

Such improvements allow the naked eye to witness the long-hidden spectacle of mountains to the north of the city.

Dwellers of downtown areas have also spotted the sight of buildings from much farther than usual.

According to Le Thi Xuan Lan, former deputy director of the Southern Region Hydro-meteorological Observatory, this transformation in the sky is accredited to a West Pacific subtropical high pressure active front in the area.

Exhibitions of this weather phenomenon include scattered clouds and high, clear skies.

As the subtropical high pressure front moves westbound, stacks of rain-inducing nimbus clouds are gradually formed.

Lan also acknowledged the impact of Ho Chi Minh City’s 22-day social distancing period since April 1. 

“On the other hand, the social distancing order, which brought about reduction of traffic and shuttered industries, has critically improved air quality in Ho Chi Minh City,” she said.

“Pollution particles in the air have been recorded in much lower density.”

Vehicles navigate a downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Vehicles navigate a downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

According to Lan’s speculation, the coming days will see a cyclone formed on the Bengal gulf area, which may intensify into a tropical storm activating strong southwest wind to blow.

At the same time, vortexes over the Philippines may also strengthen into a storm of southwesterly winds. 

As a result, southern Vietnam will experience worse weather and heavier rainfall.

Lan also said that the southern areas of Vietnam are switching to rainy season, which starts a period of  heavy rains in higher frequency.

Rainstorms may be dispersed unevenly between different areas in the region.

The National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting reported the trough connecting with the low-pressure area – in cooperation with the Foehn effect, a meteorological phenomenon caused by hot, dry air rushing down mountain ranges to low-lying areas — to cause extreme heat fluctuating between 35 and 38 degrees Celcius in the central provinces from Thanh Hoa to Phu Yen, starting Sunday.

Buildings can be spotted from far away thanks to good visibility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre
Buildings can be spotted from far away thanks to good visibility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Most notably, the mountainous areas of northern and north-central Vietnam may suffer from severe heat waves peaking at 39 degrees Celcius.

Heat will also strike localities of northern Vietnam with temperature ranging from 33-36 degrees Celcius and lowest humidity from 40-55 percent.

Occurrences of temperature above 35 degrees Celcius may take place from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day.

Wide-range heat waves will ease in central provinces and conclude in northern provinces starting from Monday.

Severe heat calls for public diligence on fire hazard prevention, especially forest fires.

A view towards Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province from District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam reveals a mountain range in sight. Photo: Vien Su / Tuoi Tre
A view towards Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province from District 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam reveals a mountain range in sight. Photo: Vien Su / Tuoi Tre
Good visibility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre
Good visibility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre
A blue sky is observed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre
A blue sky is observed in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Le Phan / Tuoi Tre

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