Welcome to the summer.
Normally, for this season, we expect the heat to get to an extent that it alters from extremely warn to extremely scorching. While the heat is normal as the planet gets closer to the sun on orbit, the continuous weather forecasts continue to report intense cases of temperature rise. Based on Pagasa’s five-day predicted heat index, latest temperatures in Metro Manila will hit on a 27°C-38°C average range, with the hottest being on Saturday with a 27.1°C-38.6°C range. This range falls on the extreme caution category of Pagasa’s heat index, which alerts the public of possible ailments like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and, the most commonly warned, heat stroke. So, expect a demand of ice tubig, frozen water, air conditioners and halo halo.
As usually I would cut some slack from the heat because of being the season, I cannot help but wonder if rampant increase in temperature is the other new normal. This I can observe in well air-conditioned areas, like offices or malls. Frequently, the ventilation unit gets interrupted with assumptions from overheating. As a result, the normally cool temperatures drop down till the area feels like being ventilated with an electric fan. For summer, a period for this demand, ventilation is always on a huge watch. But other than that, no matter how we contain ourselves with cooling units or sources for cooling (like drinks), the temperature gradually increases than normal. This can only mean one significant thing: the El Niño phenomenon. (I know someone saw that coming.)
As global temperatures continue to increase, temperature for oceans reacts to the heat. Thus, this gradual rise in heat causes more typhoons in our area and uneventful shifts in weather. And thus, the longer heat enters and the higher the hotness rises, the more we see an imbalance in the weather system. So, don’t be surprised if more heat waves enter this season and more floods to wash up in the wet season.
El Niño will continue to make its impact in the country and other territories in the Pacific. In fact, last 2014 the island nation Micronesia faced severe drops in sea level to 6-9 feet. And lately, in our very own country, Maguindanao faced severe drought and severely affected its agriculture the province declared a “state of calamity”.
The dry season phenomenon is nothing new in our collective minds, as we get briefed in our innocent days in school. But as we see heat waves become a mainstay in the national climate (just like how flood is commonplace), it is hard to ignore of the unknown implications of continual increase in temperature. And it should not always stay in the common logic that Philippines is a tropical country.
The increasing temperature is a never-ending reminder of how much the climate has been changed and imbalanced. It takes prevention for ordinary Filipinos to stay away from heat-caused afflictions. But as a token reminder, we should not treat heat as a joke. Think of it as a precaution of the country’s unexpected happenings. Luckily, the water supply is sufficient. But with this case, we have to be prepared. Treat heat seriously.
So this is to all as a reminder to take care of your health. And please take summer seriously.