The month of May may be down to its last days but the Philippines will still continue to experience hot weather due to the prevailing Ridge of High Pressure Area affecting Luzon.
This weather system will bring partly cloudy to cloudy skies, bearing generally fair weather conditions. However, due to the heat, thunderstorm formation is still likely in the afternoon or evening.
In Metro Manila, the heat index forecast may reach up to 40 degrees Celsius today. With this temperature, food spoilage may easily occur. Avoid this from happening to secure your health: http://www.panahon.tv/blog/2015/04/slow-down-spoilage-this-sunny-season/
During this season, it is best to keep cool and use common sense to stay healthy during the warmer days. To prevent heat-related woes, read: http://www.panahon.tv/blog/2015/03/staying-cool-this-hot-season/
The longer we stay under the sun, the more we are prone to dehydration. Aside from water, you can rehydrate in tastier ways. Know more here: http://www.panahon.tv/blog/2015/05/fruits-that-beat-the-hot-weather/
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!”
The Hot and Dry Season is the perfect time to spend sunny days outdoors with friends and family, which, sometimes, include a furry companion or two. With beloved pets in tow, swimming and playing under the sun becomes more enjoyable. Still, it’s important to remember that like humans, animals are also susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
The expected rise in temperature in the following days may pose challenges to your pet’s well-being. At this time, watch out for potential dangers due to hot weather.
Swimming with Pets
This season, what better way to cool down than swimming? Although it is no secret that our canine friends enjoy swimming, not all dogs have mastered the doggie paddle. Here are some tips to keep your canine friends safe and healthy when taking a dip.
• It is best not to leave pets unsupervised around a pool or on the beach. Small dog breeds may have trouble swimming, so for Lassie’s sake, buy a flotation device to keep your pet safe.
• Prevent your dog from drinking pool water as chlorine and other chemicals may cause him an upset stomach.
• After swimming, rinse your dog with fresh water to remove chlorine or salt to avoid skin irritation.
• Just like people, dogs can have sunburn too with thin-coated and light-colored canines at higher risk. To prevent this, waterproof sunscreen formulated for pets are also available.
Know the Warning Signs: Dehydration and Heat Stroke
Dogs enjoy sitting in the sun as much as cats enjoy lounging in its warmth. However, too much exposure to extreme heat may cause dehydration and heat stroke.
Your furry friend is at risk for heat stroke if he has any of the following characteristics:
• very young
• very old
• has a heart or respiratory disease
• not conditioned to prolonged exercise
Leaving your pet in the car during hot weather is a big no-no, not even with the windows slightly rolled down. This instance results to a rising body temperature of your pet, in which case heat stroke may occur.
• Excessive panting
• Rapid heartbeat
• Difficulty breathing
• Decreased urination
• Mild weakness
• Dry gums
• Excess lethargy
• Lack of coordination
• Refusal to eat
• Glazed eyes
• Bloody diarrhea
If any of the last four incidents happen, bring your pet to the vet immediately.
To avoid any of the above from happening, be sure to keep plenty of water available for your cat and dog at all times, both indoors and outside. Position them in a shady spot. Help them cool down with a few ice cubes in their water bowl, or even freeze some treats they can enjoy.
It’s all about the timing and street smarts
When the temperature is very high, sidewalks can very hot, capable of harming your pets’ paws and footpads. If you don’t like walking on that pavement with bare feet, limit your dog’s time on it, too.
Stay away from asphalt or rough pavement and only walk your dog in the early morning or late evening when outdoor surfaces are cool. Adjust the exercise routine you have with your canine in accordance with the temperature.
Time to have a trim
Just like any season of the year, grooming is important during warm weather. Feel free to have pet’s mane trimmed but never shave it. The layers of their coats protect them from sunburn and overheating. Your dogs and cats will also thank you for brushing their fur to get rid of matted or excess fur, which can contribute to overheating.
Visit the vet
Having your pets regularly checked is a must especially when parasites such as ticks, fleas and other insects are at their peak during the hot months. Your veterinarian will be able to give recommendations for safe flea and tick solutions.
Just like anyone in your family, your cats and dogs are susceptible to the dangers of hot weather. Protect them from too much sun and heat and you can still continue to have fun in the sun—together.
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/
Even before the onset of the Hot and Dry season, parts of the Philippines have already been experiencing hot weather conditions.
That’s why we need to learn how to protect ourselves from the heat, especially those who are at greater risk during this season. These include elderly people aged 65 and above, infants, young children, people who are overweight, with chronic diseases, with mental illness, and even healthy individuals undergoing strenuous physical activities during the hot months. They are the most vulnerable to heat-related incidents as high temperatures can affect the body’s ability to release heat and properly cool down.
Being exposed to high temperatures and inadequate intake of water can result to heat exhaustion. Water depletion and salt depletion are two types of this illness. Although this is not as serious as heat stroke, heat exhaustion is not to be taken lightly as it may progress to heat stroke if left untreated.
• Dehydration, intense thirst
• Warm, flushed skin
• Dizziness or fainting
• Weakness or discomfort
The most serious of heat-related illnesses, heat stroke occurs when the body overheats and is unable to cool down.
This is a life-threatening emergency that may cause permanent disability or worse, death, if medical assistance is not immediately provided.
• Very high fever
• Rapid heartbeat
• Nausea and vomiting
Individuals, who remain physically active in hot weather, engaging in activities such as exercise, sports, and extensive manual labor, are vulnerable to heat cramps. These are intermittent, involuntary muscle spasms, and are often associated with dehydration.
Most cases occur in the thigh and leg areas, the core and arm muscles during or after exerting effort in a hot environment.
• Muscle spasms that are painful, involuntary, intermittent and may be more intense that the typical muscle cramps
Prickly heat or bungang araw is a skin condition characterized by tiny bumps or water blisters that appear due to the clogging of sweat glands during hot and humid weather.
Its most common locations are the forehead, upper back and chest, armpits, and groin areas.
• Prickly sensation
• Red bumps or rashes on the skin
• Mild swelling of the affected part
The most obvious result of staying under the sun for too long is sunburn. It is the term used for reddish, irritated and sometimes, painful skin caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. It may vary from mild to severe, the extent depending on skin type, amount of exposure to the sun, and the sun’s intensity.
• Reddening of the skin
• Development of blisters
• Fever or chills
• Peeling skin
Another health woe during this season is sore eyes. Also known as conjunctivitis, this is characterized by redness and inflammation of the membranes in the eyes.
It can spread through direct contact with hands contaminated with eye secretions of an infected person, or through other things contaminated with the virus. This can also be acquired by swimming in poorly chlorinated pools.
• Watery to pus-like discharge
• Redness of the eye with pain and/or itchiness
• Eyelids stuck together upon waking up
Vacation time, coupled with hot weather conditions, is perfect for different types of outdoor activities. But remember to keep cool and use common sense so you stay healthy during the hottest days of the year.
Here are important tips to prevent heat-related woes:
• Drink plenty of water and replace the salts lost through perspiration.
• Avoid intake of tea, coffee, soda and alcohol to lessen chance of dehydration.
• Schedule rigorous physical activities at the beginning or the end of the day when it’s cooler.
• Take a bath every day.
• Wear light and loose clothing.
• Limit exposure to the sun.
• Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to avoid sunburn prior to going out. Reapply it during the day.
• Adjust to the environment; pace yourself and take it easy.
• Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
• Stay up-to-date with weather reports to gauge how long you can stay out in the sun.
National Center for Health Promotion
Department of Health