CEBUANOS will continue to experience chilly nights and cold mornings as the wind coming from mainland China continues to persist in parts of the country, including Cebu, according to a state meteorologist.
Engr. Alfredo "Al" Quiblat, chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan Cebu, said the northeast monsoon or "amihan" has intensified while the shear line weakens.
Northeast monsoon or amihan is characterized by the prevailing cool and dry air from mainland China and the Siberian region, resulting in cooler temperatures in the country.
Meanwhile, the shear line is the point where the cold air from the northeast monsoon or amihan intersects with the warm easterlies from the Pacific Ocean, which will bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.
Quiblat said that the cold weather that is being felt by Cebuanos, especially during nighttime, is due to the surge of amihan.
"The direction of the wind that we are receiving is from the mainland China, and it is really cold since they are currently experiencing the winter season there, so we are experiencing the surge of amihan," he said in mix Cebuano and English in an interview on Sunday afternoon, January 28, 2024.
The state meteorologist said that this resulted in the drop in temperature, thus, chilly weather is expected to persist until the end of the month, entering the second month of the year. He added that based on their five-day forecast, it will still be felt until Thursday, February 1.
Based on a SunStar Cebu report last year, the amihan season entered the Philippines last October. The monsoon is expected to last until March or April.
Quiblat said that historical data indicates January is typically regarded as the coldest month of the year. He further explained that recent and upcoming days, or within the 30-day period, show Cebu is currently experiencing an average temperature ranging from 24 to 30 degrees Celsius.
"So the temperature that we are experiencing (Sunday, January 28), which is at minimum 24.8 degrees Celsius, is already considered warmer than normal because of the experienced El Niño phenomenon," he said.
El Niño is a climate phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, which results in less experienced rain.
Quiblat said that amihan also results in cloudy skies, however, currently, there is only a very low chance of rain showers, if there is, "it won't be harsh rains, but only light rains or drizzle, which might be experienced until Wednesday (January 31)."
He said that currently in Cebu or Central Visayas, the wind speed is currently at 40 kilometers per hour, as opposed to last Saturday when it was recorded at 50 kilometers per hour, prompting the issuance of gale warning on that only.
He added that current gale warning is only raised in Eastern Visayas, or areas in Leyte and Samar provinces, since they are directly affected by the wind coming into the country.