The Ridge of High Pressure Area remains to be the dominant weather system, bringing higher temperatures in the Philippines today.
It will continue to bring partly cloudy to cloudy skies or fair weather over Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. However, localized thunderstorms are still expected to form in the afternoon or evening.
You can expect the same weather scenario this weekend, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Today, Metro Manila’s heat index may reach up to 40.2 degrees Centigrade, the agency added. Everyone is advised to take precautions.
WHEN WILL TAG-INIT END?
State Meteorologist Buddy Javier states that the Hot and Dry season may last until mid-June. By then, the winds will start to shift and usher in more rains.
But in order to fully establish the end of Tag-init, PAGASA has certain criteria in determining the onset of rainy season in the country, particularly in areas under the Type 1 climate, which produces two pronounced seasons:
1. Dry – October to March
2. Wet – April to September
In order for the agency to officially declare the onset of the rainy season, the following conditions must be present:
1. A total rainfall amount of 25 millimeters or more in a five-day period or at least 1 millimeter of rainfall per day in three consecutive days.
2. Criterion #1 must be met in at least five of the following climate Type 1 stations:
* San Jose, Mindoro
* Metro Manila
In order for Metro Manila to be counted, at least 2 out of 3 Metro Manila stations (Science Garden, Port Area, Sangley Point) must have met the first condition.
With temperatures soaring at this time, food spoilage is one of our immediate concerns.
Ingesting contaminated food and drinks results to diarrhea or even food poisoning which may lead to dehydration. And dehydration is the very thing we need to avoid when the season is hot and dry.
So why do food spoilage easily occur during the warmer months? Most likely because of the following factors:
Improper food storage
This is the leading cause of food spoilage. Perishable food unrefrigerated for more than two hours is better headed to your compost pit than your stomach. Foods such as fish, meat, poultry and dairy products are especially prone to contamination in warmer weather.
These microscopic organisms multiply, sometimes rapidly, as long as nutrition and water are present. Bacterial growth rate is high in warm climate, resulting to the rotten appearance and foul smell in spoiled food.
To prevent food spoilage from spoiling your fun in the sun, here are some tips to keep your food safe and fresh:
· Wash your hands before handling food.
· Store food items separately and in tightly sealed containers to prolong their shelf life.
· Monitor food for sign of spoilage. If food is on its way to getting spoiled, remove it immediately to prevent its bacteria contaminating everything else inside the refrigerator.
· Avoid cross contamination by using separate utensils for raw and cooked foods.
· Thaw frozen food in a refrigerator or microwave oven before cooking, and not in the counter to avoid bacteria from rapidly contaminating your food.
· Fruits and vegetables should be washed before cooking to remove any dirt and soil residue that may contain bacteria.
· Keep cold food cold and reheat food after it has been kept in room temperature for a long time to destroy any bacterial growth.
· When doing grocery shopping, head to the frozen food section last. Pack raw and cooked foods separately.
· When eating outdoors, keep food covered and under the shade to prevent pests from diving into them.
· When faced with the dilemma of food spoilage, remember the wise words, “Remember, if in doubt, throw it out!”
PAGASA declares the termination of the northeast monsoon season in the Philippines, marking the start of the hot and dry season in the country.
With this development, the ridge of high pressure area and the easterlies will be the dominant weather systems in the coming days.
These systems bring generally good weather and warm days in most areas of the Philippines. However, this does not mean we are free from possible wet days.
Isolated cases of rain showers and thunderstorms may also happen due to the following:
1. Urban Heat Island Effect – wherein the concrete structures and the ground are unable to absorb and trap heat from the sun. The warmer the air over the city,the higher its capacity to hold more moisture.
These factors combine to create convergence and lead to thunderstorm formation in a particular locale, especially over the cities as their surfaces are prone to release large quantities of heat.
2. Wind Convergence – wherein two different air masses meet–winds coming from the northeast and the easterlies.
The convergence of the cold and dry air of the northeast winds, and the warm and humid air of the easterlies generate cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers or thunderstorms.
On the other hand, seafarers may enjoy calm coastal waters aside from at times moderate waves due to the possible prevalence of the easterlies, particularly over Eastern Luzon and Visayas.
Stay cool this hot season. Take precautionary measures to protect yourself from various heat-related illnesses. Read here: http://www.panahon.tv/blog/2015/03/staying-cool-this-hot-season/