Weather Patterns in the Philippines Weather – is the condition of the day at any given place. It is based on the current atmospheric conditions that include temperature, pressure, humidity, winds, clouds and precipitation. This means that the weather condition differs from place to place at a certain time. Meteorology is the science that deals with the study of weather. A person who studies weather is called a meteorologist or a weatherman. The weatherman records the weather condition every hour and uses this as a basis in weather forecasting. Climate – is the average weather for a given area over a long period of time. The weather in the Philippines is affected by monsoons. Monsoon is characterized by a consistent wind pattern that affects a large region of the planet lasting for months. The term monsoon came from the Arabic word mawsim which means season. There are two types of weather patterns in the Philippines: amihan and habagat. a. Amihan or Northeast Monsoon -It is a weather pattern characterized by a less strong east or northeast breeze that is cool and dry coupled with prolonged periods of cloudless days. -The cool and dry air originates from the winter season in Siberia, Mongolia and northern China. -Amihan prevails from November to May. -The dry season is usually experienced during amihan. b. Habagat or Southwest Monsoon -It is characterized by strong west or southwest breeze that brings significant rainfall to the country. -The air that passes over the large warm areas of the equatorial ocean brings rain. -This governs the weather from May to October, which is the country’s wet season. Seasons in the Philippines Season – is characterized by consistent or similar weather patterns across a period of time in a year. It is also known as the divisions of the year based on weather patterns or Earth’s position in its orbit around the sun. – The Philippines has two distinct seasons (wet and dry seasons) due to its geographical location. It is located between 5o NL and 20o NL which is near the equator. a. Wet season -The temperature is relatively lower due to the heavy clouds and constant rainfall. -During the wet seasons, the country experiences rains from June to November. -But the heaviest downpour in most areas is from July to October. b. Dry Season -During this season, temperature in the Philippines is very warm. Locally known as tag-init or tagtuyo. -The dry season is from December to May. -It may be subdivided further into a cool dry season from December to February and hot dry season from March to May. Effects of Seasons on the Livelihood and Health of Filipinos Relatively cool and dry season (December to February) -Any livelihood that produces goods for the holiday season is in demand but seasonal. -This is the best time for flower farming for special occasions. -In terms of health, colds and flu are common. -This is also the time of the year when people should be conscious of what they eat because of the holidays. Hot, dry season (March to May) -The temperature is higher than usual with barely any wind and no rain. -Outdoor activities in or near natural or manmade bodies of water abound, such as swimming and surfing. -There are livelihoods that focus on easing the effects of unbearable heat on people such as opening resorts and serving beverages and snacks. -This season adversely effects aquaculture and agriculture. They may cause massive fish kill and irrigation problems due to lack of water or drought. -People are prone to heat stroke and skin diseases such as prickly heat, sunburn, and boils. Wet season (June to November) -Most outdoor activities are cancelled or postponed for safety reasons. Sometimes, classes and/or offices are cancelled due to heavy rainfall or floods. -Indoor activities and warm snacks are preferred in this season. -Farmers look forward to this season because of their crops. However, strong, heavy and continuous rains may destroy crops and other sources of livelihood like aquaculture. -There is health risk of contracting leptospirosis during rainy season. -Aside from this, colds, cough, flu and other upper respiratory problems are very common. -One should wear a raincoat and use an umbrella when going out while it is raining. -Wading in the flood is strongly discouraged.