Cebu recorded today, May 21, its highest temperature for the year, with the weather station in Mactan logging 35.3 degrees Celsius at 2:30 p.m. That reading is the highest in the province in 2015, engineer Al Quiblat of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Mactan Island station told MyCebu.ph.
In the days ahead, temperatures will go even higher because of the prevailing weak El Niño, Quiblat warned.
Today’s 35.3 degrees Celsius reading translated into a feverish heat index – what people actually feel – which was at 42 degrees Celsius in their location, Quiblat said. The heat index takes into account air temperature and relative humidity – to arrive at a measure that is closer to what people actually feel as the temperature. A person is considered to have “significant fever” with a temperature reading of 38 degrees Celsius.
In areas of the city with a dense concentration of buildings, it would be even hotter because of the heat island effect, Quiblat said. It typically adds 2 degrees to the temperature.
Highest in Cebu on record
The prevailing temperatures are higher than that of a typical summer without an El Niño, which ranges from 26 degrees Celsius to a high of 33 degrees Celsius.
The weather specialist warned temperatures could rise even higher because of the weak El Niño. The highest recorded in Cebu was 37 degrees on May 31, 1981, when El Niño was also in effect.
Quiblat said that based on the projections released by Pag-asa last May 6, 2015, there is a chance that the El Niño would be in effect and even strengthen into a “moderate” one later in the year.
He said that although it is hard to project, there is a possibility Cebu will again hit the 37 degrees Celsius reading later in the year.