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Frequency of Tropical Cyclones in the Philippines

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Frequency of Tropical Cyclones in the Philippines

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Geographically, the Philippine climate is dominated by heavy typhoons and monsoon winds. A monsoon climate is one that is dominated by seasonal winds that blow for half of the year in one direction and then reverse themselves. Northeast monsoon winds usually guarantee a warmer climate called amihan, which blows from November to April while the southwest monsoon locally known as habagat, blows in from May to October. This gives the country gusty winds that cause rains to most places. However, both of these winds carry rains and frequently disturb the stability of the country’s climate. It can be rainy in the one part while sunny and mild in the other. In the period starting December up to the month of May, there is no monsoon anymore. The wind, particularly the "trade wind", approaches from the northeast and brings hardly any rainfall. In Southeast Asia, “monsoon” refers to the wet season. It is a long period or season of rains. The monsoon supplies the water that is critical for survival throughout the dry season. Because this is when the majority of the rain falls, agriculture is dependent on the monsoons. It is also the key to success of highland forests, as well as human populations, as everyone must have drinking water. Rainfall is the dominant climatic variable in Southeast Asia since tropical temperatures in low-lying equatorial regions are fairly similar throughout the year. Unless irrigation water from underground springs or rivers is available, the rice crop —which sustains the region's population as a staple food— is normally limited in the rainy season (Benson, 1997).

Another distinguishing feature of the climate of the Philippines is the occurrence of strong typhoons. The Philippines is tortured by typhoons every year. In fact, the Philippines has the most number of typhoons in a year in the whole world. In the whole Western Pacific, typhoons occur from the month June to November.

Typhoons have a great influence on the climate and...

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