There was zero visibility on Mt. Pulag in Benguet Thursday but the weather bureau could not confirm if the temperature had really plunged to zero Celsius on the country’s second highest peak as reported by some news outlets.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration
(Pagasa) does not have a monitoring station on Pulag (elevation 2,922 meters), where the temperature is known to drop to 2 degrees Celsius.
Pagasa Administrator Nathaniel Servando said he heard the reports about the zero-degree weather but he could not confirm it. Water freezes at this temperature.
“What we can confirm is there is zero visibility on Mt. Pulag. Now as to whether the temperature actually went down to zero Celsius, we cannot say,” he added in a phone interview.
Servando said the nearest Pagasa monitoring station was in Baguio City, which recorded a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius on Thursday morning, a shade warmer than the 9.5-degree low recorded in the summer capital last week.
Metro Manila, on the other hand, registered 18.1 degrees Celsius at 5:55 a.m. on Thursday, the frostiest morning yet this year in the capital, said Pagasa.
Pagasa forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the cold permeating all of Luzon was brought by the northeast monsoon, or the freezing winds blowing from Siberia.
The cold is expected to persist well into the middle of February, he said.
Aurelio said the tail-end of a cold front remained over eastern Visayas. The Visayas and Mindanao will also experience nippy weather, but nowhere near as cool as most parts of Luzon, he said.