Pagasa: Storms, high rainfall amid PH’s dry season ‘normal’ due to La Niña
MANILA, Philippines — Having two cyclones and a high amount of rainfall in April – or in the middle of the country’s dry season – is “normal ” since the Philippines is also under “a La Niña phase.”
State meteorologists on Monday issued this explanation amid questions on why are there storms and more rain happening at this time when it’s supposedly a dry, hot season.
Weather specialist Ana Clauren of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that while cyclones entering the country during the dry season could be considered usual, an “above-normal raining condition” during this period could be seen as strange because of La Niña, a sea temperature phenomenon which results in greater rainfall.
“Dahil po marami pong nagtatanong: normal po ba na meron tayong bagyo sa buwan ng Abril? Yes po, normal po na meron tayong bagyong nararanasan sa buwan ng Abril,” Clauren explained.
“Medyo kakaiba lang po ‘yong sa ngayon or mas marami lang pong pag-ulan ‘yong nararanasan natin ngayon dahil po nandito po tayo sa La Niña phase po natin,” she added.
Data from Pagasa showed all stations in the Bicol Region and the Visayas recorded a higher than normal amount of rainfall from April 6-10. For example, the Pagasa data indicated that Leyte’s Maasin town would usually see around 100 millimeters of rainfall in April. But from April 6-10, Pagasa’s station logged more than 290 millimeters of rain in the area.
“So kung makikita po natin sa ating graph na karamihan po ng istasyon na naapektuhan nitong bagyong si Agaton, simula no’ng low pressure area siya ay na-meet niya na po ‘yong threshold niya or ‘yong normal raining condition niya kaya karamihan po diyan ay naka-meet na po ng above-normal rainfall condition,” Clauren said.
“Which is nagko-coincide naman po ‘yan sa ating forecast na kapag meron po tayong La Niña ay asahan po natin na above-normal rainfall condition po ‘yong ating mararanasan sa malaking bahagi po ng Visayas at ng Mindanao,” she added.
Tropical Depression Agaton (international name: Megi) is the country’s first cyclone for this year. The state weather service has been monitoring severe Tropical Storm Malakas, which was still outside the Philippine area of responsibility as of this posting although it is expected to enter the country between Monday night and Tuesday morning.
While Malakas is not expected to have any direct effect on the country, it would make Agaton spend more time in the country. Earlier, Pagasa said that while Agaton would further weaken over the next few hours, it is still expected to bring moderate to heavy rain over different parts of the Visayas and the Bicol Region.
In January, Pagasa predicetd that La Niña may persist over the country until April.
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