Lots To Love About Philippines' Weather

Lots To Love About Philippines' Weather

Philippine Opuntia - prickly pear aka Dilang-baka in the June rain
Opuntia - prickly pear aka Dilang-baka

There Is Rain And Lots Of it...Until There Isn't

There are only two seasons in the Philippines: the rainy season and the dry season. I love the rainy season the most...some of the time.

This year we were warned that the El NiƱo would persist and that the rains would be delayed. That warning may have panned out for the rest of the Philippines, but not for us. We have been experiencing scattered thunderstorms for weeks and recently the first sustained rainfall arrived. 

The dry spell we experienced this year came nowhere near the drought of 2016 when we suffered through a period of almost seven solid months without a drop of rain from late November to early June. That year was the only time that our well slowed to a trickle. 

I had the well diggers come out and attempt to deepen the well but they hit a large boulder at only six inches below the original mark and could go no further. I asked them to strike it a few times, but to no avail. We thought that it would make no difference, but when the drilling equipment was removed the waters came pouring out. That had never happened before. Our well's trickle became a torrent. The well has never threatened to fail since then, but it has never been tested with such a dry spell since then either.

There Are Actually More Than Just Two Seasons 

The seasons are just more subtle in the tropics. January and February are my favorite months. They are typically dry and generally the coolest months at our place. It's a time to get caught up on out door work, like painting and debris clearing. 

In March, as the equinox approaches, the heat begins to build. It is still dry and still a good time for work. In April the heat begins to become more forceful and the humidity begins to increase. May is the time when the heat and humidity combine forces to become an oppressor of formidable power. But I love May, because this is when the first thunderclaps are usually heard. And the thunders of May crash like massive stones into the ground and shake the houses and the hillsides all around us. It seems as though Mars has decided to come down and attack at last. The lighting is rarely seen as discrete streaks, but mostly as ghostly sheets igniting the clouds. 

The thunderstorms of May tend to be of the isolated cell type. June is when the rains become sustained and heavy. There is less thunder at this time. July is much like June. August is more of the same, but for us August tends to be the coldest time and some Augusts we never see the sun all month. This is the time of the most rainfall. It is chilly at night and sometimes all day. We scarcely see the giant flying cockroaches all year, but in August they sometimes seek refuge inside from the incessant rains that have flooded their usual haunts in the rotted wood and coconut trees. 

With the equinox approaching again, September is a month of change. The rains pass away. The sun returns and with it the heat. There may be sporadic rains throughout September and October, but you will not misunderstand going toward November that the time of the rain is at its end.

Sometimes The Drier Months Bring The Strongest Storms

November and December is the time that the humidity begins to depart and the heat begins to relent. A low pressure system may threaten to spin in, but these usually sputter and fail. Not always, though. Haiyan (Yolanda) was a November storm. We were without power for four days due to Haiyan. The storm passed through rapidly and dropped hardly any rain at all on our place.

No One Ever Expects The Last December Rain

Sometime toward the middle of the month a low pressure system will spring up and defy all odds and forecasts to dump a few inches of unexpected rains upon this place. I do not understand why everyone is always so surprised by the predictable December downpour. It has happened every year that we have been here.

But the December rain is the last appreciable rain the we will see until at least April and maybe even June.

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