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What Was The Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in the Philippines?

And other interesting climate records.
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January is the coldest month of the year in the Philippines, and this year is no exception. The past few days saw temperatures dropping to as low as 22 degrees Celsius in Metro Manila, which is frosty when you consider that the city can reach a scorching 38 to 40 degrees or higher in the summer. 

That got us thinking about the coldest temperature ever recorded in the country, as well as other interesting bits of weather trivia.

Coldest day in the Philippines

The lowest official temperature ever recorded in the country was 6.3 degrees Celsius that happened on January 18, 1961 in Baguio City. However, that doesn’t count the even lower temperatures reportedly reached in places like Mount Pulag in Benguet, which even fell to a wintry zero degrees Celsius in February 15, 2017, according to the management of the Mt. Pulag National Park. That doesn’t count because PAG-ASA cannot independently verify the data.

A study published in 1999 on the country’s National Communication on Climate Change said that Baguio recorded a temperature of 3 degrees Celsius in January 1903, but this data doesn’t turn up anywhere else in the list of official coldest temperature recorded in the Philippines. 

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Hottest day in the Philippines

On the other end of the spectrum, the hottest temperature recorded in the Philippines was 42 degrees Celsius in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. It happened twice, on April 29, 1912, and May 11, 1969. In Metro Manila, the hottest day on record was on May 14, 1987, when the city sizzled at 38.5 degrees. 

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Again, there’s a caveat to this record. The PAG-ASA often publishes data of what it calls heat index that is much higher than 42 degrees. Heat index is essentially what the temperature feels like to the human body which can be different than the actual temperature when humidity is taken into consideration. Last year, for example, PAG-ASA recorded a heat index of 55 degrees Celsius in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. 

Temperatures on both extremes here in the Philippines got us wondering about the coldest and hottest temperatures ever recorded on earth. And once you find out what those numbers are, the coldest cold and the hottest hot here in the Philippines doesn’t seem so bad.

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Coldest and hottest temperatures ever on earth

The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth was -89.2 degrees Celsius on July 21, 1983 at the Vostok Station in Antarctica. Just to put that into perspective, a healthy person who isn’t properly dressed can experience hypothermia at -34 degrees Celsius in as little as 10 minutes. That number goes down to five to seven minutes at -40 to -45 Celsius. 

The coldest country in the world based on average yearly temperature is Canada, with -5.35 degrees Celsiu, based on a study that measured daily temperatures minimum and maximum temperatures from 1961 to 1990. 

Meanwhile, there’s a pretty solid consensus among scientists that the hottest temperature ever recorded on earth was 56.7 degrees at Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California in the United States on July 10, 1913. Just as hypothermia, hyperthermia or heat stroke is a serious concern for people exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time.

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The hottest country on earth based on average yearly temperature is Burkina Faso in Africa, at 28.29 degrees Celsius.

And in case you were wondering, the average yearly temperature here in the Philippines is 25.85 degrees Celsius. So our advice: enjoy the cold weather while you can.

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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