BAGUIO CITY– The temperature in the country’s Summer Capital continues to drop after the local office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) recorded 10.4 degrees Celsius January 22 morning which is the lowest temperature at that time in the city this year.
Wilson Locando, PAGASA weather specialist, said the continuous drop of the temperature in the city is due to the enhanced northeast monsoon that prevails in most parts of Northern Luzon, thus, colder mornings are expected in the coming weeks.
“There will be a continuous drop in the city’s temperature in the coming weeks, especially that winter in China and the Siberian region where the enhanced northeast monsoon is originating is now at its height, thus, people must be ready on the effect of the chilly weather condition that could extend up to the middle of March,” Locando stressed.
Last week, the lowest temperature recorded by the local weather bureau was 12 degrees Celsius from the usual 13 to 14 degrees Celsius early morning temperature and the same was also caused by the prevalence of the enhanced northeast monsoon.
The lowest temperature recorded in the city’s history was 6.3 degrees Celsius on January 18, 1961 while the fifth lowest temperature was recorded on January 15, 2009 wherein the mercury level of the thermometer dropped to a cool 7.5 degrees Celsius.
The PAGASA official claimed the prevailing weather condition in the city is unpredictable because of the effects of climate change to the country’s weather patterns that is why it is very difficult to predict whether or not the temperature will drone to single digit in the coming weeks.
He added that the prevailing temperature in other highly elevated areas in Baguio, Benguet and Mountain Province is much colder compared to the recorded temperature in the city proper considering that the same is approximately 2 to 3 degrees lower than what is being recorded in the PAGASA weather instruments.
The cold spell in elevated areas in the Cordillera prevails from November to March every year but the cold season started early October last year which caught many people by surprise.
Agriculture industry stakeholders in the Cordillera expressed their concern on the effects of the cold weather to crops that are on their vegetative, flowering and harvestable stages that is why farmers have been time and gain advised to immediately embrace the appropriate strategies to clear their crops from the frost that forms on top of their produce before sunrise to prevent the same from being damaged by the frost.
For the past several years, the serious negative effects of frost to the vegetable produce of thousands of farmers in the highly elevated areas drastically decreased because they are already aware of the measures that will be used to rid their crops of the frost once the temperature level drops thereby contributing to the stable prevailing prices of semi-temperate vegetables.
Industry stakeholders urged middlemen and traders not to take advantage of the situation by trying to create an artificial shortage of locally produced vegetables so that they will be able to unjustifiably increase the prices of vegetables which will be to their own advantage but the detriment of local vegetable growers who rely on vegetable farming as the primary source of their income to sustain the living condition of their families.
By Dexter A. See
Banner photo by Armando M. Bolislis