Friday, December 30, 2011

Davao Weather Forecast

One of the more common questions that I get asked by friends and family back in Canada has to do with the weather here.  That question has both a simple answer and a more complicated one.  I will start with the simple answer.

It is hot and sunny. Always.

Seriously, it is.  Weather forecasters are the butt of many jokes in Canada, because it seems practically impossible there to forecast what the weather will be the next day, let alone the next week.  Here it is a bit different.  The forecast looks like this all the time:

Hot and sunny.  High of 33C.  Possibility of limited cloud cover.  Chance of late day rain or thunderstorm. Little wind.  Humidity between 80-95%.

This goes for pretty much any day.  There are some days which vary a bit.  Some days it only gets up to 31C.  Other days it may rain a bit for most of the day.  Some days it is cloudy all day.  Those are the days that we look forward to because 33C with 90% humidity feels pretty hot at times.  (There was one day that I can remember that I considered taking a sweater with me when I went out, but by the time I left it had warmed up!).  

We have actually gotten so used to the heat here that it has just become normal.  The other day Kerri was telling me that she was feeling a bit cold.  It was a cloudy day and was noticeably cooler then normal.  I checked the temperature on a thermometer to discover that it had cooled down to... (wait for it...) 29 DEGREES CELSIUS!  I think she even had goosebumps.  I ran to get her a sweater (okay, not really, but she was quite comfortable wearing jeans that day).

As for typhoons and tropical storms, we are located close enough to the equator that we are not located in a typhoon-prone area.  We did have a tropical storm warning here recently, but it turned out to just be one day of rain for us.  Usually when there is a typhoon or tropical storm in the Philippines it is quite a ways north of where we are.  In fact, for us here it seems that when a typhoon is passing through the northern Philippines our weather is not bad at all, often it is warmer and less rain than normal (which is a different kind of bad weather!).

Now, I can totally understand the curiosity which people back in Canada have about the weather here.  Coming from a temperate climate (which really means a cold climate, but they can't call it that or no one would live there!) one of the most noticeable differences here is the lack of variation in the weather.  It is the same day in and day out, week after week, month after month.  The concept of seasons is difficult to apply here.  It's like perpetual summer (which is mostly good...).

Back in Canada we had seasons.  It went from Summer (a week or so of hot dry weather) to Fall (becoming cold) to Winter (COLD! How cold? How does -40 sound?) to Spring (still cold, but with lots of snow too!).  There was a bit of a pattern to it every year, unless Spring didn't feel like showing up, or sometimes Summer stayed for 2 weeks.  Some years it snowed lots before Christmas, other years it all waited until after.  But regardless there was a change of the seasons.

The change of the seasons brought a whole topic of conversation.  How many times have you had a conversation that went something like this: (fill in the blanks)

Me: Sure is (hot/cold/rainy/windy) today, eh?

You: Yes it is.  Nice change from last week though.  It was too (hot/cold/rainy/windy) last week.

Me: I agree.  Hard to believe that it is already the end of (spring/summer/fall/winter).

You: No kidding. (Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter) is just around the corner, eh?

Me: Sure hope it is better than last year.  Remember how (hot/cold/rainy/dry/windy) it was last year?

You: Yeah.  I heard that this year they are saying it is supposed to be a (long/short) (hot/cold/rainy/dry/windy) (spring/summer/fall/winter).

Me: (Hope so/Hope not).  After the (spring/summer/fall/winter) we have had it would be nice if it would (warm up/cool off/dry out/rain more).
That type of conversation is one which takes place in every Canadian workplace, social gathering, family get together, and church function.  Put two Canadians in a room and they always have something to talk about (and often complain about!).  I would imagine it would be similar in many other countries as well (except substitute "eh?" with the local catchphrase).

That kind of conversation doesn't seem to be as popular here.  Probably because it would go something like this:

Toto: Sure is hot today.

Tata: Yes it is.  Just like yesterday. and the day before.  And last week.

Toto: Now what do we talk about?

So please feel free to ask how the weather has been for us, but know that inside I am (laughing/crying/rolling my eyes).


Vero said...

Eheh funny!!I like it!Laughing reading your article and laughing remembering when I told my pinoy friends it was just 0°C here...They were freezering just hearing that!!
About the thyphoon...happily Davao was not hurt...but just a little bit at the North...awful situation!

Salt said...

oh my, that's so true! Actually, at the moment, though the sun is shinning for a minute, the cloud cover and rain are so wonderful! While trying to just enjoy the moment, my heart just wishes it would always be this "cool"! hehe. Good writing.