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El Niño on its way, says Pagasa

/ 03:21 PM February 20, 2019

MANILA — The state weather bureau said its alert system is now in the “El Niño Advisory” category, which is one step closer to declaring a full-blown El Niño phenomenon.

“Weak El Niño is present in the tropical Pacific; with this development, the PAGASA ENSO Alert System is now upgraded to El Nińo Advisory. Varying impacts may occur,” the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its advisory on Wednesday.

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ENSO refers to the El Niño Southern Oscillation, a naturally occurring phenomenon of the climate system resulting from the interaction between the ocean and atmosphere in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific.

It lasts 8 to 12 months and occurs ever 2 to 7 years.

“Binabantayan po ang El Niño, inaasahan na mabubuo ito during this month or end of month. Mula pa nung July nila ang El Niño watch at ito ay binababntayan mabuo sana last quarter ng last year pero di naabot ang criteria na sinusundan. Kaya ngayon inaasahan this month or next month nasa mataas ng percentage na mabubuo na ito,” Pagasa administrator Vicente Malano said in a press briefing.

(We are watching El Niño because it is expected by the end of this month. We’ve been watching this since July because it was expected last quarter. There is a high chance that it will arrive this month or next month.)

Pagasa climate monitoring chief Analiza Solis said some of the impacts of El Niño include warmer than average surface temperatures, prolonged dry seasons, and generally way below to below normal rainfall conditions over most parts of the country.

She said tropical cyclones this year would also be below average. Only 14 to 18 are expected in 2018 from an average of 20. However, she warned that storms are usually stronger during the El Niño season. /ee

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TAGS: El Niño phenomenon, Pagasa, Philippine news update
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