In time for the celebration of the 16th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week, the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center released the State of the 2021 Philippine Climate Report (SPC 2021).
Produced in collaboration with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the eighth series of the SPC offers a comprehensive overview of climate indicators (e.g. temperature, rainfall, tropical cyclones, El Niño event) and the patterns, changes, and trends representing the country’s climate in 2021.
The year 2021 for the Philippines was marked by temperatures slightly above the norm. The daytime temperature rose by 0.01 °C, while nighttime temperatures saw a more noticeable increase of 0.4 °C.
May is the warmest month with a mean temperature of 28.9 °C, while January is the coolest month of the year with 26.0 °C mean temperature.
The average annual temperature was recorded at 27.8 °C. This was 0.2 °C warmer than the 1991–2020 baseline temperature and 0.2 °C cooler than the country’s average temperature in 2020.
This warming trend mirrors global patterns, with 2021 being the sixth warmest year on record globally, and a notable increase in ocean heat content, setting a new high since 2020.
2021 emerged as the 11th wettest year for the Philippines since 1960, with Visayas and Mindanao regions experiencing above-normal rainfall conditions, contrasting with Luzon’s below- to near-normal rainfall conditions.
These disparities were largely driven by the prolonged La Niña conditions, coupled with monsoon activities, shear lines, and tropical cyclones.
Among the 54 synoptic stations of PAGASA nationwide, Baguio (Benguet) received the highest maximum 1-day rainfall on October 11, 2021 during the passage of Severe Tropical Storm (STS) Maring (Kompasu) over the northern coasts of Luzon. A total of 625.3 mm of rain accumulated in 24 hours, exceeding the monthly normal rainfall received by the station by almost 150 mm.
A total of 15 tropical cyclones (TCs) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) in 2021, less than the average of 19–20 frequency per year.
Of these, eight made landfall and three reached Super typhoon category. Super Typhoon Odette was notably the most devastating, affecting 78% of the country’s total population and accounting for 82% of the total cost of damage by 2021 TCs.
Odette, along with Jolina and Maring, will be stricken from PAGASA’s rotating list of typhoon names, and will never be used again for another typhoon name within the PAR due to their severe impacts.
The extended La Niña phase in 2021 had a dual impact: it slightly cooled the average mean temperature and contributed to the above-normal rainfall in most parts of the country.
Download the SPC 2021 and learn more about its key findings and other notable weather and climatic events by visiting the OML Center’s website: https://www.omlopezcenter.org/state-of-the-philippine-climate/