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The most wonderful time of the year is approaching! Many of us are already busy planning for the holidays by organizing parties and shopping for gifts. But another thing Filipinos look forward to during the ber months is the cool weather. Read on to find out more about what to expect as Christmas approaches.

1. “Is it sweater weather already?”
Keep your sweaters on standby! According to PAGASA, weather will gradually become cooler as the Northeast Monsoon or Hanging Amihan approaches the country. Temperatures will slightly drop especially in the Extreme Northern Luzon. Colder nights and early mornings may be experienced during ber months but the peak of Amihan usually occurs in January and February.

2. “How cold will it be these ber months?”
To give you an idea of how cold the weather may get, here are the expected minimum and maximum temperatures:

3. “How many typhoons can we expect for the rest of the year?”
Since the climatic condition in the Philippines remains neutral, the number of Tropical Cyclones that may enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) is also within the average range. For the month of September, 2 to 4 Tropical Cyclones normally enter the PAR, while at least one is expected in October until the end of the year. These are just the average numbers, and may still vary depending on the atmospheric conditions.

4. “Why are there more typhoons during the ber months?”
According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Chris Perez, the last quarter of the year is when the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) becomes dominant and usually oscillates to reach the Philippine premises. And because the ITCZ is a breeding ground of Low Pressure Areas (LPAs), the formation of weather disturbances also becomes a common scenario during ber months.

5. “What is the difference between Amihan and Habagat?”
Amihan, also known as the Northeast Monsoon, is characterized by cold and dry air coming from Mainland China or Siberia. It usually becomes prevalent during ber months, bringing cooler weather conditions. Compared to Habagat, which is characterized by warm and moist winds, Amihan brings light rains mostly in the northern and eastern portions of the country. However, both weather systems trigger rough to very rough conditions. When the surge of Amihan and Habagat transpires, gale warning is usually hoisted, urging fisherfolk to avoid sea travel.

6. “Why do typhoons hit the landmass during the season?”
Apart from colder weather, light rains and bumpy coastal waters, the Amihan also affects tropical cyclones. Due to its cold and dry characteristics, it may weaken the cyclone and may also drive it towards the landmass. Thus, tropical cyclones during ber months have a greater chance of making landfall.

7. “Why can’t we experience a White Christmas?”
“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, just like the ones I used to know…”

This song perfectly complements the Filipinos’ longing to experience snow in our country. Unfortunately, unlike countries in the temperate regions, tropical countries like the Philippines, don’t have a winter season.

8. “Will it still be rainy during the ber months?”
In a La Niña Watch issued on October 20, 2017, there is a 65 to 70 % probability that a weak La Niña will develop in either late October or November this year, which may last through the first quarter of 2018. Above normal rainfall conditions are expected over the most parts of the country. La Niña is characterized by unusually cooler than the average sea surface temperatures (SST) in the Central and Eastern equatorial Pacific (CEEP).

9. “When is the longest night of the year?”
Mark your calendars for an astronomical event you shouldn’t miss before the year ends! The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year, where the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn. The solstice is derived from the Latin “sol”, meaning “sun” and “sistere” which means “to stand still”. This usually happens on December 21 or 22.

10. “What weather systems will affect the country ?”
Several weather systems are expected to prevail during ber months. These include the Hanging Amihan, ITCZ, the Tail-end of a Cold Front, Low Pressure Area (LPA) and Tropical Cyclones. Such weather systems will bring rains and thunderstorms. However, we may still experience fair weather, especially when the Ridge of High Pressure Area (HPA) becomes dominant.