A Casual Examination of Philippines’ Weather and Climate
Anyone trying to analyze the Philippines’ weather and climate should first learn the difference between them. Weather is the observed changes in the atmosphere. In the Philippines, People observe it as the onset and end of the dry season and the wet season entrance and exit. On the other hand, climate refers to the weather observed for a long time in a given location. Filipinos may sometimes get confused as to which term means what because the terms “weather” and “climate” may often be used interchangeably with one another.
You will probably encounter Philippine geography when you start studying the Philippines’ weather and climate. This means analyzing the physical geography of the country, encompassing the natural process and patterns of the environment itself. Philippine geography is a bit complicated because the country is actually an archipelago. There are 7641 islands all in all, and bodies of water separate them. The country’s islands are mostly volcanic in origin, which may explain plant life’s robust growth in almost all the above sea-level islands. Some volcanoes are dormant but still considered active.
Philippine Weather and Climate at One Glance
The Philippines usually has a dry season and a rainy season every year. However, some islands have rainfall all year round. When considering the Philippines’ weather and climate, you may find five different climates throughout the archipelago. These are:
- Humid subtropical
- Tropical savanna
- Tropical monsoon
- Tropical rainforest
One source indicates that tropical cyclones produce 30% of rainfall per year within the northern part of the archipelago. On the other hand, the southern part of the Philippines gains just 10% of rainfall annually from tropical cyclones.
The temperature over the islands does influence the onset of the monsoons. The southwest monsoon is called “habagat” in the dominant Filipino dialect of Tagalog. On the other hand, the northeast monsoon is dubbed “amihan” instead.
This means there are times the island temperature could be colder than the surrounding seawater. At other times, the island temperature could be warmer. This fluctuation in temperature contributes to the formation and arrival of tropical cyclones. (Tropical cyclones are dubbed “bagyo” in the Philippines, regardless of where they originate). Many tropical cyclones originate in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
The Philippines’ location within the typhoon belt is also the reason so many destructive typhoons hit the country every year. The arrival of climate change may be a crucial factor in the formation of the more destructive tropical cyclones, according to some scientists.
Flooding in the Philippines
Sadly, many of the forests of the Philippines have been levelled and cleared. Much of the time, this is done illegally. The lack of trees to keep soil in place means that flooding often happens in denuded areas when the heavy rains come every year. This has led to a regrettable loss of life and livelihood for Filipinos and a terrible decrease in livable animal habitats when flooding occurs.
The average temperature within the country (excluding the mountain area of Baguio) tends to hover at 26.6 degrees Celsius or 79.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to its elevation, Baguio tends to be cool year-round, even in summer when the rest of the country sees temperatures go up. This might change, though, due to the continued loss of forest cover in Baguio.
Traditionally, January remains the coolest month of the year. The warmest month of the year tends to be May, during the Philippine summer.
Discussing the Philippines’ weather and climate need to include the role of humidity. The relative humidity is quite high due to the amount of moisture from surrounding bodies of water. Generally, the humidity causes the temperature to go up as well. This means that when the surrounding temperature creeps up, then humidity can make people feel hotter. Wind factors and constant rain can affect humidity levels too. One problem with surplus humidity is that it induces heightened breeding of mosquitoes. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever may spread as a result.
Other Information About the Philippines’ Weather and Climate
Some scientists predict that the Philippines’ weather and climate may progressively worsen, especially with the arrival of the so-called “climate change”. This may explain the onset of more destructive tropical cyclones and weather disturbances in recent years. However, there is still hope that the Philippines’ weather and climate will stabilize if the government, the private sector, and socio-civic groups work together to address climate change causes. For more information about starting a business in the Philippines, contact us.