Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December In The Philippines: "Winter" In Name Only

I recently read that a record low temperature of -135ºF  (-93ºC) had been recorded in Antarctica. I don't think this type of weather is likely to occur here in Southeast Asia anytime soon. But when I read about the winter weather in the other parts of the world, including places that are experiencing snow and colder than usual  conditions such as in the Middle East,  not to mention the cold weather in many portions of the the U.S at this is the time of the year, I'm especially glad to be residing in the Philippines. Here in Metro-Manila, December night time minimum low temperatures average is in the low 70º's F (low 20º's C).  Daytime temps reach into  the low to upper 80ºs-low 90º'sF (low 30º'sC). There are only occasional rainstorms, and so far this year, no typhoons have struck MM). The humidity in this quarter is also lower than other times of the year. So all in all,  it's quite comfortable now

But not all of the country experiences tropical weather in December. A popular resort and summer capital, Baguio City, which is in a higher elevation has cooler weather. The typical temperature ranges are maximums in the low 60º's F (20º's C) and minimums in the 50º's F (teens C). Summers there are  pleasant with daytime temps in the upper 70º's and night tmes in the low 60º's. 

The "real feel" in scattered locales even at sea level in the Philippines can also get chilly. My wife says that during December, she uses a blanket at night when she visits her home town of Gumaca, in Quezon province. This coolness might be the result of  breezes coming in from Lamon Bay next to which that locale is situated.

In the area of the Philippines that was struck by Typhoon Haiyan, such as Tacloban City, temps are similar to those in Metro-Manila. So at least after the storm passed, the weather was such that victims were able to cope better than refugees in other countries for whom inclement weather can compound their distress. As mentioned above, for example the Middle East has had cold, wet  weather  that which has only aggravated the misery of the Syrian exiles who are living in refugee camps under already desperate conditions. In Israel, Jerusalem was also blanketed with snow and at this writing some portions of that city have been  without electric power for 3 days. In contrast, partly due to more moderate climate conditions, the typhoon survivors in the Philippines may now be able to start rebuilding their lives. Imagine how difficult even thinking about moving on would be if they were still being battered by an ongoing  hostile weather environment.

In short,  the overall climate in the Philippines tends to be fairly constant year round  without major shifts from region to region. And inasmuch as there are no extreme changes from season to season throughout the country, December here is more or less just another month.