BAGUIO CITY – Residents and visitors alike started to wear their thick clothing’s following the continuous drop in the city’s temperature, the latest of which was at a cool 11.5 degrees Celsius Saturday morning.
From the usual 14 to 17 degrees Celsius lowest temperature in the morning over the past several weeks, the local office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recorded a significant decline drop in the city’s temperature to 12.5 degrees Celsius Friday morning before further dipping 1 degree Celsius lower Saturday morning which is an indication that cooler days are still ahead in the country’s undisputed Summer Capital.
Danny Galate, PAGASA Baguio meteorologist, claimed the early prevalence of the cool weather in the city was an offshoot of the prolonged rainy season coupled with the existence of the enhanced northeast monsoon that continuous to bring cold winter winds from Siberia to the northern part of the country.
He explained the prevailing temperature in the city and other elevated areas in the Benguet and Mountain Province areas will be much cooler this year and the early parts of next year compared to that of last year because of the expected prevalence of the La Nina phenomenon unlike last year where it was a bit hotter considering the existence of the El Nino phenomenon.
The PAGASA official predicted that the lowest temperature in the city could drop to a single digit by January up to the later part of March because of the expected prevalence of much stronger northeast monsoon.
The lowest temperature recorded in the city was at 6.3 degrees Celsius on January 18, 1963 while the latest recorded lowest temperature was at 6.4 degrees Celsius which was the fifth lowest in the city’s history on January 15, 2009.
On the other hand, health authorities warned the residents and visitors alike to make sure that they wear their thick clothings to warm themselves so as not to contract the cold day diseases such as colds, cough, pneumonia, upper respiratory track infection among others for them to enjoy the celebration of the Yuletide season in the city.
City Health Officer Rowena Galpo called on the public to make sure that they eat the right kind of food to strengthen their immune system and stay healthy at the time of the year when the cool weather condition starts to prevail which could affect their health and productivity at work, in school or in their businesses.
as the city’s temperature continues to drop, the prevailing temperature in other highly elevated areas in the city and other parts of Benguet and Mountain Province is at least 2 to 3 degrees lower than the recorded temperature thereby posing a serious threat to the local vegetable industry which is the major source of income for the people in the said areas.
For decades now, the prevalence of frost as a result of the drop in the temperature in the highly elevated areas caused the loss of income among the farmers whose plants were affected by the said phenomenon which has yet to be effectively given the appropriate solution.
By Dexter A. See