Peak of El Niño heat has yet to arrive in Cebu

MANILA. A vendor prepares his umbrella as hot days continue in Manila, Philippines on Monday, April 29, 2024.
MANILA. A vendor prepares his umbrella as hot days continue in Manila, Philippines on Monday, April 29, 2024.AP

THE peak of the severe heat brought by the El Niño phenomenon has yet to arrive in Cebu.

This was the statement of weather specialist Jhomer Eclarino of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Visayas, amid reports that the worst of El Niño is already over.

Eclarino told SunStar Cebu on Sunday, May 12, 2024, that they are not yet ruling out the possibility of increased heat in Cebu in the coming days.

“Ang ubang areas possibly na reach na nila ang taas nga heat index. Dili pa kompiyansa because wala pa nahuman ang dry hot season o ting-init sa Pilipinas,” he said.

(Some areas may have already reached high heat indices. However, let’s not be complacent because the dry hot season in the Philippines has not yet ended.)

Eclarino noted that the highest recorded heat index for Cebu this year was still at 40 degrees Celsius.

This heat index is categorized under the extreme caution category, suggesting that heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible, and further activity may result in heatstroke.

Eclarino added that the public should remain careful since they are still expecting the figures to rise to 44 degrees Celsius.

When the heat index reaches 42 to 54 degrees Celsius, it is considered under the dangerous category, where heat cramps and exhaustion are highly likely, and heatstroke becomes probable with continued activity.

“Dili pa kompiyansa because May is the hottest month sa atoa. So, possibly mosaka pa atoang heat index,” he said.

(We should not be complacent yet because May is our hottest month. So, our heat index might still rise.)

Last year, the highest recorded heat index in Cebu was 43 degrees Celsius. It happened on May 17, 2023.

Meanwhile, he said that hot weather will persist this week despite isolated passing rain showers from late afternoon until early morning.

He explained that these rains are brought by easterlies and localized thunderstorms.

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

Based on Pagasa’s database, the highest surface temperature this week will reach 32 degrees Celsius, while the heat index on Sunday and Monday, May 13 might reach up to 39 degrees Celsius.

The heat index is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual surface air temperature, which refers to the actual temperature of the air measured by a thermometer. / KJF

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