MANILA — Decreasing temperatures in northern and central Luzon and frosts in the highlands are possible in the coming days with the likely re-intensification of the cold wind-blowing northeast monsoon or ‘amihan’.
“Latest available data indicate that ‘amihan’ may re-intensify beginning Sunday (Jan. 15) and affect such areas anew,” said weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio of the state weather bureau, PAGASA.
Aside from colder days, frosts may occur in mountainous places, Aurelio said, advising residents of these areas to brace for the respiratory ailments the come with the cold weather.
The agriculture department has also warned farmers of frosts that are a threat to crops.
According to PAGASA, the annual ‘amihan’ starts over Siberia as a cold, dry air mass that gathers moisture as it travels across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines.
‘Amihan’ is characterized by “widespread” cloudiness with rains or showers and affects the Philippines’ eastern portions from October to late March.
In its latest outlook, PAGASA forecast cooler-than-average temperatures in northern and central Luzon this month.
The bureau expects the country’s lowest minimum temperature to reach 8.8°C in Luzon’s mountainous areas.
That forecast is way below the 13°C to 14°C actual temperature range that has been forecast for the mountain city of Baguio, the Philippines’ summer capital, so communities concerned must prepare accordingly.
Lowest minimum temperature for January can reach 13.1°C in northern Luzon, 14.7°C in the lowlands of Luzon, 17.9°C in Metro Manila, 20°C in the Visayan lowlands, 19°C in the lowlands of Mindanao, and 14°C in the mountainous areas of Mindanao, PAGASA said.
Such temperatures are lower than the 29°C to 30°C range which the bureau identified as comfortable temperature.
PAGASA expects temperatures in northern and central Luzon to decrease gradually.
“Upland farmers should take appropriate action to protect their crops from the impact of cold temperature,” it said in its 10-day forecast ending Friday (January 20).
According to recent reports, frosts have been damaging vegetable crops in Benguet province.
The agriculture department explained that in frosts, known locally as ‘andap’, moisture develops into ice crystals that settle on the leaves of plants.
The department warned that if crops are not watered immediately, they will wilt when the sun melts the ice on the plants.
Extreme temperatures leave the plants brownish until they die, it said. Catherine Teves/PNA-northboundasia.com