[PHOTO - SLICE OF SUMMER A slice of watermelon is a yummy thirst quencher and entices passersby to stop and buy the fruit of summer that is selling at P120 pesos each along Edsa Monumento in Caloocan City on Tuesday. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ]

MANILA, MARCH 9, 2012 (INQUIRER) By TJ Burgonio - Brace for even hotter days.

Summer has just begun, and the scorching heat in most parts of the country is expected to intensify towards May, weather forecasters said Tuesday.

Temperatures soared to 34.7 degrees Celsius in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, on Saturday and Sunday, so far the hottest temperature logged by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) since summer kicked in last week.

When summer peaks in May, temperatures could rise as high as 39 degrees Celsius or even 39.2 degrees Celsius, the two highest recorded temperatures in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, respectively, on May 3 last year. Or it could rise even higher, forecaster Jori Loiz said in an interview.

“We should expect hotter weather in the coming weeks. Temperatures will rise,” he said, cautioning the public against venturing out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. without any protection, lest they’d get hit by ultra-violet rays.

The bureau’s station at the Science Garden in Quezon City recorded a temperature of 34.4 degrees Celsius at around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

There will be brief respites, though, in the form of afternoon or evening rainshowers, triggered by heat and moisture in the atmosphere.

“But it’s not going to rain every day,” he said.

The archipelago experiences two types of dry season: a cold dry season from December to February and a hot dry season from March to May. Summer is experienced throughout the country except for the eastern parts which are visited by rain all throughout the year.

La Niña, which has intensified the easterlies over the eastern sections of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, is expected to weaken soon, according to Loiz. Associated with strong rainfall, it is expected to dissipate between March and May.

What’s the weather? Ask a farmer By Kristine L. Alave Philippine Daily Inquirer

Is it going to rain? Farmers will soon have the answer.

Farmers in Irosin, Sorsogon, who are in the path of typhoons, and two other towns would soon provide weather information such as rainfall and humidity to the weather bureau in Manila.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) and the mayors of Irosin; Gerona, Tarlac, and Tubigon, Bicol, signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday on the setting up of automatic weather stations (AWS) in their municipalities.

The Local Government Units and Pagasa also committed to share the scientific information they would gather. This would give Pagasa more accurate information on local weather systems.

On the other hand, the mayors said they were pioneering climate information and forecasting for agriculture to give them sufficient warning of extreme weather conditions to be able to build defenses against destruction to lives and properties.

Irosin Mayor Eduardo Ong said: “We really need this weather station. We are the rice granary of the province. Sometimes we don’t know how much rain is going to fall and when.”

“We need the information to help our farmers, so we can tell them when to harvest,” he added.

The information on rainfall is also important as it would help irrigators determine when to release water so as to avoid flooding.

Ong noted that the weather in recent years had become unpredictable. In the past, the rains came during the months of June and July like clockwork. But recently, heavy downpours lasted for days in January. “We couldn’t plant,” Ong said.

Agriculture officials said having accessible data on the weather would boost farmers’ resiliency and lessen their risks against climate change.

Farmers often complain that severe weather warnings are slow to reach them, leaving them with little time to harvest or save their crops before a storm swooped in. The DA said the most basic AWS for agriculture costs between P30,000 and P50,000.

The establishment of weather stations in key agriculture areas is part of the Rice Watch and Action Network (R1) project to integrate climate change into local agriculture management.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
All rights reserved




Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved