Above-normal temperatures and less-than-normal rainfall were experienced by the Philippines for most of 2020 despite being visited by 22 tropical cyclones, according to the OML Center’s newly released State of the 2020 Philippine Climate (SPC 2020).
Climate trends and key findings on indicators – temperature, rainfall, El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and tropical cyclones (TC) – affecting the 2020 Philippine climate were analyzed for this report.
The country experienced above-normal temperatures in all months of 2020. Six months of the year—January, March, May, July, September, and December—were warmer by more than 0.5 °C than their monthly average values.
The country’s average temperature for 2020 was 28 °C, which is 0.4 °C higher than the 1991–2020 baseline temperature.
ENSO-neutral conditions prevailed for most of 2020, with La Niña conditions developing and contributing to the above-normal rainfall received by most parts of the country in October, November, and December.
A total of 22 TCs entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) in 2020. This exceeded the long-term average of 19–20 TCs frequency per year. Ten TCs made landfall in the country. Seven TCs reached Typhoon (TY) category, while one developed into a Super Typhoon (Rolly).
Among the 2020 TCs, TY Ulysses affected the largest population and caused the costliest damages of around PHP 20 billion to both agriculture and infrastructure.
Aside from TY Ulysses, TYs Ambo, Quinta, and Rolly caused at least PHP 1 billion in damages or 300 deaths in the country.
Most of the country received less than normal rainfall for most of the year. Out of 55 PAGASA synoptic stations, 28 stations recorded below-normal rainfall than the 1991–2020 baseline, while 22 stations received above-normal rainfall. The western portion of the country received a greater reduction in rainfall than the eastern side.
While the year started with below-normal rainfall conditions, the last quarter of the year experienced above-normal rainfall, which was attributed to the onset of La Niña, monsoon surges, the tail-end of a cold front, and the passage of tropical cyclones.
For more information on 2020’s climate and weather trends in the Philippines, see the Climate Trends section of the SPC 2020.
SPC is an annual report produced by the Center in partnership with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), which gives an overview of weather and trends representing the Philippines’ climate in 2020. SPC 2020 presents PAGASA’s projections of climate extremes and their potential impacts, which can aid policymakers, local government units, and other stakeholders in their decision-making processes toward science-based climate change adaptation and disaster risk management.
Download the SPC 2020 and previous publications here: www.omlopezcenter.org/state-of-the-philippine-climate/.