MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued an El Niño Alert on Tuesday as the country faces the threat of a dry spell.
According to PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano, recent conditions and model forecasts indicate an 80 percent probability that El Niño will start in June, July, and August and may persist until the first quarter of 2024.
“When conditions are favorable for the development of El Niño within the next two months at a probability of 70 percent or more, an El Niño alert is issued,” Malano said. El Niño is a weather condition characterized by unusually warmer than average sea surface temperatures at the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.
El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring negative impacts such as dry spells and droughts in some areas of the country, Malano explained. However, over the western part of the country, above-normal rainfall conditions during the southwest monsoon season may also be expected.
“All concerned government agencies as well as the public are encouraged to monitor and take precautionary measures against the impacts of the dry spell,” Malano added.
According to Analisa Solis, chief of the PAGASA Climate Monitoring and Predictions Section, Mindanao would be severely affected by El Niño with at least a 35 percent reduction in the amount of rainfall due to the lack or absence of typhoons. The Visayas will see a 21 percent decrease in rainfall, and Luzon a 12 percent decrease.
Citing projections, Solis said the effects of El Niño would start to be felt in the Visayas and Mindanao during the third and fourth quarters of the year. However, Luzon will still experience near to above-normal rainfall, according to PAGASA’s forecast.
Solis also warned that El Niño would increase the temperatures in the country.
“That is the effect of the coming El Niño. We are also in the dry season. The increasing temperature is part of the pre-development of El Niño and the prevailing easterlies,” she said.
PAGASA urged the public to remain vigilant and monitor updates from the agency to prepare for the possible impacts of El Niño. – WhatALife!/Jayve
Also read: Philippine Drought Advisory from May to October 2023
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