Non-hipster fellas wearing sweaters or jackets on the streets, your family's refusal to bathe in the morning ("Tay, ang baho niyo na ho. Labyu!"), your balahibos standing more frequently: these are just some the weird occurrences the prolonged cold season has brought about.
While cold temperatures aren't normally associated with a tropical country like the Philippines, we're now experiencing it this January. So, what gives?
Below we try to shed some light and answer the one question many of us are asking nowadays: 'Tang#$@, ba't ang lamig?
TWO WORDS: HANGING AMIHAN
The cold weather we're experiencing is brought by a weather phenomenon called hanging amihan or northeast monsoon, the counterpart of hanging habagat or southwest monsoon. In contrast to the humid and wet winds of the habagat, amihan produces a milder, cooler, and drier weather. Hence, the colder temperature and the absence of rain.
Here's a "Hanging Amihan For Dummies" video
Need more hanging amihan facts? Here you go: To expound, it's a cold weather wind system characterized by a cool breeze originating from the northeast. You see, sometime in the last quarter of every year, the East Asian (think China) mainland begins to get colder, thanks to less solar energy reaching it due to the Earth's tilted axis and wobble. This results to colder air rushing from northern areas like Siberia down to Southeast Asia, the Philippines included.
"But it wasn't this cold last year!" you might be protesting. You're wrong. We explain that next.
IT'S NOT WEIRD, WE'RE ACTUALLY RIGHT ON SCHEDULE
Believe it or not, the Philippines actually has a cold season (although having snow-covered winters is out of the question; but, you'll never know—it snowed in goddamn Egypt!). This usually starts sometime in September or October, peaks in January and February, and ends around May or June. PAGASA even officially declared the start of the hanging amihan season on October 17, 2013.
Nothing like chilling in a warm bath during
the cold weather (Image credit: Giphy.com)
With January being right in the middle of this period, this cold weather we're feeling right now is natural. Again, despite what your teeth gnawing tells you, the chilly climate is NOT A FLUKE.