Does It Ever Snow in the Philippines? An Overview of Philippine Weather
Looking to invest or reside in the Philippines? Whether you’re a Filipino expat or a foreigner who loves everything about the Philippines, it’s essential to understand how the weather would affect your life in the country before you make the big move. While there are plenty of things that make living in the Philippines an amazing experience, you should know what to expect when it comes to temperature and seasonal weather patterns in the country.
Here’s what you need to know!
The Climate in the Philippines
The Philippines is a tropical country, and it’s no surprise that the weather there is characterized by warm to hot temperatures year-round. According to the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Knowledge Portal, the mean annual temperature in the Philippines is 27.1 degrees Celsius (80.78 degrees Fahrenheit). The city has an annual average of 2,632 hours of sunshine per year.
In addition to its warm temperatures, you’ll find that many areas throughout the Philippines experience high humidity levels owing to the warm and moist trade winds that flow throughout the archipelago, as well as the surface temperatures of the surrounding waters.
A Nation with Two Seasons
There are only two seasons to remember when you’re in the Philippines: wet and dry seasons.
The wet or rainy season here can be extremely heavy at times, causing flooding and strong winds as well as bringing tropical downpours with thunderstorms and lightning strikes. This is what you can expect for half the year, specifically from June to November.
Also take note that heavy rainfall is concentrated on the west side of the country from June to September, while from October to March it’s the eastern side that receives most of the rain. This variation in rainfall distribution is caused by the monsoon which is the seasonal change in direction of the prevailing winds in a particular region:
- “Amihan” or the Northeast Monsoon brings cold winds and mild to moderate rain to the eastern side of the Philippines;
- “Habagat” or the Southwest Monsoon brings warm moist winds and heavy rain over the western portion of the Philippines.
Of course, being that it is a tropical country sitting just above the equator, it won’t be cloudy and wet all the time! Officially, the dry season occurs from December to May. The dry season can be divided further divided into two types:
- The cool dry season which happens from December to February;
- The hot dry season occurs from March to May.
This three-month-long hot dry season is considered summertime in the Philippines where the mean temperature reaches 28.3 degrees Celsius (82.94 degrees Fahrenheit). This particular period of the year can get extremely hot and humid, with seemingly endless days of clear skies and zero rain.
This brings us to the answer to the question…
Does It Ever Snow in the Philippines?
Owing to its location and climate conditions, the chances of it snowing in the Philippines are very slim to none. That’s because the temperature does not get low enough for snow to form. Snow forms from a combination of high moisture in the air and below-freezing temperatures.
Records from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA show that the coldest day in the country happened on January 18, 1961, when Baguio City experienced a very chilly 6.3 degrees Celsius (43.34 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature. While it is an unusually low temperature for a country like the Philippines, it still was not cold enough for snow to occur. In fact, if we were to look outside of Baguio City and its surrounding region — a mountainous area in the Northern Philippines known for its year-long cool climate — there’s not much variation in temperature in most of the country. In general, the Philippines is hot, humid, and rainy for most of the year.
As a two-season country, you don’t have to worry much about preparing for the seasons like you would in temperate regions of the world. Light comfy clothing is all it takes, though it’s a must to have jackets and raincoats ready for the country’s wet season.
The weather is only one aspect of living, working, and playing in the Philippines. It’s a tropical country, so people live in warm and humid conditions throughout most of the year. The weather can be unpredictable and difficult to understand, but as long as you’re prepared for the worst and have a little bit of luck on your side then you should be fine no matter what time of year it is.
Caña, Paul John. “What Was The Coldest Temperature Ever Recorded in the Philippines?” Esquire Philippines, 12 Jan. 2021, https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/coldest-temperature-philippines-a00289-20210112.
“Climate of the Philippines.” PAGASA, https://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/information/climate-philippines.
“Dreaming of a White Christmas: Will It Ever Snow in the Philippines? – FlipScience – Top Philippine Science News and Features for the Inquisitive Filipino.” FlipScience – Top Philippine Science News and Features for the Inquisitive Filipino., https://www.facebook.com/FlipScience/, 12 Sept. 2017, https://www.flipscience.ph/nature/dreams-snow-philippines/.
Galvez, Daphne. “Metro Manila Posts Lowest Temperature yet This ‘amihan’ Season at 19°C | Inquirer News.” INQUIRER.Net, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1542104/metro-manila-posts-lowest-temperature-yet-this-amihan-season-at-19c.
“Philippines – Climatology | Climate Change Knowledge Portal.” Home | Climate Change Knowledge Portal, https://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org/country/philippines/climate-data-historical.