High temperatures persist amid scattered rains: Pagasa

BOHOL. A white-sand beach in Panglao, Bohol.
BOHOL. A white-sand beach in Panglao, Bohol. (Contributed Photo)

DESPITE the scattered rains at night, the state weather bureau said that high temperatures during the daytime will persist, which is brought about by the dry hot season and the El Niño phenomenon.

Weather specialist Jhomer Eclarino of the Regional Services Division of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Visayas said that these are only passing rains influenced by the easterlies.

Easterlies are the eastward-blowing trade winds, common in tropical regions like the Philippines, bringing warm, humid weather and occasional rain showers.

"Naay change gihapon na passing light rainds na kalit ra. But still taas ang time nga init ang panahon," he told SunStar Cebu on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

(There's still a chance of passing light rains suddenly but the duration of hot weather remains high.)

Additionally, Cebu recorded 37 degrees Celsius of heat index on Tuesday, which was recorded at 1 p.m.

The figure is under the extreme caution classification, which is between 32 to 41 degrees Celsius which suggests heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible, and further activity may result in heatstroke.

The heat index or “feels-like” temperature combines air temperature and humidity to indicate how hot the weather would feel to the human body.

So far, this year, he said that the highest heat index recorded in Cebu was last March 27, logging 39 degrees Celsius.

Eclarino maintained their reminder to the public regarding the high heat index, thus, encouraging them to always adhere to precautionary and preventive measures for health safety.

In earlier reports, Pagasa said that the heat high is felt the most from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., however, an expert from the Department of Health Central Visayas, suggested avoiding outdoors as early as 9 a.m.

Last month, Regional epidemiologist Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal from the Department of Health Central Visayas set measures for the public to follow this season.

Aside from avoiding the outdoors during peak hours when the heat index is at its highest, she also recommended wearing sunscreen when venturing outdoors and emphasized the importance of staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Meanwhile, SunStar Cebu earlier reported that the heat index in Cebu may reach a "dangerous" 51 degrees Celsius in the coming months.

This level can lead to heat cramps, exhaustion, and possibly heat stroke with continued outdoor activity.

He said that historical data shows Cebu typically experiences its highest temperatures in May. On May 31, 2010, also during the El Niño phenomenon, the province recorded surface temperature at 37 degrees Celsius.

It coincided with its highest heat index of 49 degrees Celsius.

Eclarino attributed the rise in the heat index to the El Niño phenomenon that is now categorized under drought and the ongoing dry hot summer.

Pagasa announced the conclusion of the northeast monsoon, or amihan, on March 22, marking the start of the summer season in the Philippines.

The Philippines has two seasons, the dry and wet. Despite the lack of a distinct summer season, Filipinos commonly label the dry season as such.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Cebu and nine other provinces in the Visayas region are currently designated as experiencing drought.

These provinces include Antique, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Iloilo, Leyte, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Samar.

Additionally, it has transitioned from a strong and mature state to a moderate one. Despite this weakening trend, he emphasized that its effects will continue to be felt over the next two months.

Eclarino said that drought is characterized by an extended dry spell, either with five consecutive months of below-normal rainfall or three months of significantly reduced rainfall.

Previously, Pagasa defined below-normal rainfall as 20 to 60 percent less than the usual amount, while way-below-normal rainfall indicates a decrease of more than 60 percent from the normal. (KJF)


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