Pagasa: Cold spell to last until February

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Filipinos will continue to enjoy cold temperatures associated with the northeast monsoon until the middle of February.

However, temperatures would not be as low as in the first weeks of January, said Robert Sawi, weather division chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“Climatologically, the northeast monsoon (which brings cold weather in the country) will terminate mid-February,” he said.

“I think we will no longer surpass the recorded lowest temperatures because we are already in the last week of January.”

The low-pressure areas approaching the country also modify the wind that comes in the country, Sawi said.

This means that the cold northeast monsoon converges with the warm easterly wind before hitting the country, making the temperature warmer.

The minimum or lowest temperatures recorded yesterday in Metro Manila and Baguio City were 17.8 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees Celsius.

So far this year, the coldest temperature in Metro Manila was recorded last Jan. 26 at 15.8 degrees Celsius, which was only .7 degrees above its all-time coldest temperature of 15.1 degrees Celsius recorded on Feb 4, 1987 and Dec. 30, 1988.

Baguio City recorded its lowest temperature this season last Jan. 19 at 8.1 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, PAGASA continues to monitor a low-pressure area over the Pacific Ocean.

Sawi said the weather system was forecast to enter the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday and bring moderate to heavy rains over the Visayas and Mindanao beginning Friday until Saturday.

The low-pressure area is likely to dissipate over the Sulu Sea or over the West Philippine Sea by Sunday or Monday, he added.

The low-pressure area has a slim chance of intensifying into a tropical storm, Sawi said.

PAGASA acting administrator Vicente Malano said the low-pressure area would not likely linger inside the country’s territory.

A low-pressure area, which briefly intensified into Tropical Depression Agaton (Lingling) before dissipating last week, had dumped heavy rains over parts of the Visayas and Mindanao in past weeks, triggering floods and landslides that killed at least 64 people.

Animals die in extreme cold

The death this month of 114 farm animals in Negros Occidental from a medical emergency known as hypothermia due to extreme cold weather has caused P912,290 in losses to the poultry and livestock industry.

Provincial veterinarian Renante Decena said the animal deaths were recorded in 24 barangays in 12 towns and cities from Jan. 2 to 27.

Of the affected animals, 49 were sheep, 38 swine, nine goats, nine poultry, seven cattle and three carabaos, he added.

Most of the affected animals were young backyard farm animals of small farmers, the provincial veterinary office said.

The animals were in the towns of Salvador Benedicto, Manapla, Toboso, Murcia, Valladolid, San Enrique and Moises Padilla; and the cities of Sagay, Sipalay, Himamaylan, Cadiz, and La Carlota.

Decena said hypothermia was observed at 16 to 20 degrees Celsius with windy and rainy conditions.

The animals showed symptoms of pneumonia like coughing and chills, he added.

Decena said they are submitting a report on the animals’ deaths to the Bureau of Animal Industry. – With Danny Dangcalan

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