Weather Set to Dampen Idul Fitri Holiday Plans

LEGIAN

Bali and much of Indonesia could end up having no dry season this year with forecasters saying bad weather is expected to return after the Idul Fitri holiday starting this Friday, bringing heavy rain, high seas and stormy skies that could make air travel bumpy.

They blame the strong La Ni?a climate pattern — La Nina brings unusually wet weather to Indonesia while its reverse phenomenon, El Nino, brings drought — and say the new wet weather now likely should run into the official start of the wet season.

“The La Nina effect will be more intense,” said Meteorological and Geophysics Agency official Edvin Aldrian, who heads its climate change and air quality division.

Millions of Indonesians travel home for the traditional Idul Fitri holiday at the end of Ramadhan.

But this year it looks as if bad weather could disrupt many plans and make travel hazardous. Aldrian said rain was likely to be heaviest at night, creating extra danger on slippery roads, especially when drivers were likely to be tired.

Ferry travellers should take care, he said. La Nina weather usually causes high seas.

The highest seas were most likely to hit in the eastern archipelago, south of Java and west of Sumatra, but almost all Indonesian waters are at risk.

Port authorities at Gilimanuk, the Java ferry crossing point in north-west Bali, have been busy this week preparing the port for heavy Idul Fitri traffic and heavy weather.

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