April 13, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recorded on Tuesday the hottest temperature in the country so far this year at 39.3 degrees Celsius.
PAGASA weather forecaster Jun Galang said the warmest temperature was recorded in General Santos City in South Cotabato province around 2 p.m.
Galang said the current data surpassed the previous record of 38.6 degrees Celsius that was also monitored in General Santos City last March 1.
Metro Manila also experienced its hottest day so far this year on Tuesday at 36.3 degrees Celsius.
The reading was taken at the PAGASA Science Garden in Quezon City at 3 p.m.
Based on the PAGASA’s climatological record, the hottest day ever recorded in the country was on May 11, 1969, when a temperature reading of 42.2 degrees Celsius was monitored in Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province.
In Metro Manila, the all-time hottest temperature was recorded on May 14, 1987 at 38.5 degrees Celsius.
Galang blamed the prevailing El Nino phenomenon, which is characterized by below-average rainfall, for the rise in temperatures in the country.
But he noted that despite the hot temperatures recorded the past few days, there is no heat wave affecting the country yet.
Citing the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) definition, he said a heat wave happens when the daily average maximum temperature in a specific area increases by five degrees Celsius for five consecutive days.
“Kung i-a-apply natin ito dito sa ating bansa, it’s (heat wave) impossible to happen. Base sa history ng PAGASA, wala pa tayong naire-record na nagkaroon na ng heat wave dito sa Pilipinas,” he said.
Even with PAGASA’s own criteria in determining a heat wave, Galang said it is still too far from happening.
The state weather bureau’s own definition of a heat wave is when temperature in a specific area rises by three degrees Celsius for three consecutive days.
As an example, he said the daily average maximum temperature in PAGASA Science Garden during April is 35 degrees Celsius.
Once its temperature hits at least 38 degrees Celsius or above for three straight days, he noted that a heat wave will be declared.
“Kahit ito ang gamitin nating criteria for a heat wave, wala pa rin tayong naire-record na may heat wave sa ating bansa,” Galang said.
“Minsan may mga lugar na nagkakaroon ng pagtaas ng three degrees Celsius o higit pa sa temperature nito pero hindi naman consistent,” he added.