Most Filipinos may have been used to calling March to May as “summer” months of the country, but the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has an official term for it–“warm and dry season.”
“Sabi ng iba summer na ‘yan. It’s not really summer dahil wala pong summer sa Pilipinas. Dalawa lang po ‘yung season natin. Ito po ‘yung wet and dry or ‘yung warm and dry season natin. Ito po ‘yung nararanasan natin [sa ngayon]. (Others say it’s summer. It’s not really summer because there is no summer in the Philippines. We only have two seasons. The wet season and dry season, or warm and dry season. This is what we are experiencing right now),” PAGASA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Dr. Esperanza Cayanan said during its climate outlook forum on Tuesday, March 23.
“Baka po sabihin ng iba, hindi ba dapat warm and humid, hindi dry? ‘Yung warm and humid, this is ‘yun pong nararamdaman natin dahil mataas ‘yung humidity ng ating air, mainit ‘yung pakiramdam natin. (Some may say, shouldn’t it be warm and humid, not dry? The warm and humid weather is what we feel because the humidity of our air is high and we feel hot),” she said.
Cayanan said PAGASA will soon issue a daily heat index as soon as PAGASA declares the onset of warm and dry season in the country this year.
“Ito po ‘yung information anong temperatura ‘yung nararamdaman natin, hindi ‘yung actual temperatures. (This is the information on what temperature we feel, not the actual temperatures),” she said.
PAGASA defines heat index as the measurement of how hot it really feels when relative humidity is factored in with the actual air temperature.
The effects of the forecast heat index to a person’s body are also described by PAGASA as follows:
Take “caution” if the forecast heat index is between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius (80-90 degrees Fahrenheit) because fatigue is possible with prolonged exposure and activity, while continuing activity could result in heat cramps.
Consider “extreme caution” if the forecast heat factor is between 32 and 41 degrees Celsius (90-105 degrees Fahrenheit) because heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible, while continuing activity could result in heat stroke.
Meanwhile, expect “danger” if the forecast heat factor is between 41 and 54 degrees Celsius (105-130 degrees Fahrenheit) as heat cramps and heat exhaustion are likely, while heat stroke is probable with continued activity.
There is “extreme danger” if the forecast heat index is over 54 degrees Celsius (over 130 degrees Fahrenheit) because heat stroke is imminent.