Intense summer heat starts next week

Temperatures in parts of the country, including Metro Manila, may hit 35 degrees Celsius beginning next week

MANILA, Philippines – In 7 to 10 days, temperatures in different parts of the country may reach 35 degrees Celsius or more, according to state weather bureau Pagasa.

Northern Luzon will likely experience the brunt of the summer heat, with temperature expected to reach a sizzling 40 degrees Celsius, said Anthony Lucero of the Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section.

“We always expect that the northern Philippines, especially in the provinces of Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya, will have the highest temperature,” he told Rappler on Thursday, March 20.

This is largely because of the Cagayan Valley, a large area surrounded by hills and mountains. This bowl-like topography traps heat as more heat accumulates during the months of March, April and May.

In Metro Manila, the temperature may reach 35 to 37 degrees Celsius starting next week. Before then, temperatures have been cruising between 22 to 33 degrees C.

One centigrade of this heat comes simply from all the megacity’s concrete and vehicles.

“Metro Manila is a heavily populated concrete jungle. The hot air from all the cars and trucks also add to the heat,” Lucero said.

The highest temperature in Metro Manila ever recorded was 38.5 degrees Celsius on May 14, 1987. The hottest day ever recorded for the entire country was on May 11, 1969 when Tuguegarao City in Cagayan experienced heat at 42.2 degrees Celsius.

The rest of the country, Visayas and Mindanao, are safe from the worst heat also because of their topography. Mindanao is highly mountainous while Visayas is mostly composed of islands. These features help disperse the heat.

The high temperatures associated with summer are caused by the end of the northeast monsoon or Amihan. The northeast monsoon brings colder temperatures from the winter of continental Asia into the Philippines. Without it, the heat is free to reign.

The hot season is expected to last until the second half of May when the rainy season usually begins. Until that time, everyone should be ready with their light, breezy clothing and cold water bottles. –

Thermometer image from Shutterstock

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