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Summer starts next week

Summer starts next week

The temperature has reached dangerous levels at 35 degrees Celsius with a heat index of 44.1 degrees in Cotabato City last March 24, but the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday the official declaration of the start of summer might have to wait until early next week. File photo

MANILA, Philippines -  The temperature has reached dangerous levels at 35 degrees Celsius with a heat index of 44.1 degrees in Cotabato City last March 24, but the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday the official declaration of the start of summer might have to wait until early next week.


Temperatures across the country have been rising since early March, the highest of which was recorded in Cotabato City.


Metro Manila registered a temperature of 35.2 degrees Celsius last March 23.


PAGASA explained that heat index between 41 and 54 degrees is considered dangerous and likely to cause cramps, exhaustion and even heat stroke after continuous activity.


It said people feel warmer temperature due to high relative humidity, which they refer to as “heat index” or apparent temperature.


The heat index or “human discomfort index” is the temperature people feel as opposed to the temperature measured by instruments. High air temperatures and high relative humidity result in high heat indices.


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PAGASA is withholding official declaration of the dry season or summer due to the lingering weak northeast monsoon in some parts of Luzon.


“We may issue (termination of the northeast monsoon) by Tuesday,” PAGASA senior weather forecaster Rene Paciente told The STAR.


Paciente said they still expect the northeast monsoon – cold air from China and Siberia – to prevail this weekend.


PAGASA officially declares the onset of the dry season in the country once the easterlies – warm air coming from the Pacific Ocean – become the dominant weather system.


Last year, PAGASA officially declared the onset of the dry season on March 18. 


In 2011, the dry season officially commenced on April 12.


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