BAGUIO CITY – The cold spell in the city is now on its down trend after the mercury level dropped to a chilly 7.3 degrees Celsius Wednesday morning, the fourth lowest temperature in the history of the city.
From the 8 degrees Celsius lowest temperature recorded by the local office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Tuesday morning, the temperature further dropped causing some frost in highly elevated areas in Benguet and Mountain Province that pose a serious threat to semi-temperate vegetables that are on their vegetative and flowering stages.
The single digit temperature in the city started on Saturday morning when the temperature dropped to 9.6 degrees Celsius dropping further over the past five days because of the enhanced northeast monsoon coupled with overcast and cloudy skies.
The lowest temperature in the city was officially recorded by PAGASA on January 18, 1961, at 6.3 degrees Celsius, followed by the 6.7 degrees Celsius on February 23, 1963, 6.8 degrees Celsius on January 8, 1968, and then 7.1 degrees Celsius on January 9, 1971.
Health authorities reiterated their previous reminder for everyone to keep themselves warm by wearing thick clothes and taking in soup and warm water coupled with eating the right kind of food.
Dra. Amelita M. Pangilinan, assistant regional director of the Department of Health in the Cordillera, said cold day diseases have significantly increased over the past several weeks because of the continuous drop in the city’s temperature, thus, the need for the people to keep themselves warm by staying at home and wearing thick clothes.
In Mount Sto. Tomas, Tuba, Benguet, the lowest recorded temperature was 4.5 degrees Celsius while the lowest temperature recorded in Madaymen. Kibungan was 5.6 degrees Celsius, both registered Wednesday morning.
The temperature at the summit of Mount Pulag, the second highest mountain peak in the country located in Kabayan, Benguet, ranged from 2 to 5 degrees Celsius over the past several days.
City officials said that the cold spell may continue up to the end of the month or by the middle of next month and visitors wanting to witness the highlights of the 22nd edition of Panagbenga, which are the grand streetdancing parade on February 25 and the grand float parade on February 26, will be able to enjoy the city’s cool and romantic weather.
The cold spell in the city and other highly elevated areas in Benguet and Mountain Province usually occurs from November to March every year but the degree of coldness depends on the strength of the northeast monsoon prevailing over Northern Luzon.
Among the cold day diseases being encountered by residents and visitors include cough, colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, upper respiratory illnesses and infections, and cardiac arrest. /By Dexter A. See#