With ‘Dante,’ rainy season finally starts
Summer has ended and the rainy season has officially begun, the state weather bureau said on Monday.
It said Tropical Storm “Dante” helped usher in the rainy season as it moved out of the Philippines by enhancing the southwest monsoon, bringing rains to most parts of the country.
Although the rainy season has begun, weather forecaster Jori Loiz of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said there would still be periods lasting several days when there would be no rains.
He described this as “a usual occurrence” at the start of the rainy season.
“People might grow skeptical about our announcement if it does not rain for some time right after Pagasa declared the end of summer but it is already the rainy season and breaks in rainfall usually happen,” Loiz said.
In its official announcement, Pagasa said the prevailing conditions over the country were now characterized by southwesterly to westerly monsoons, “high humidity, presence of rain clouds and the daily occurrence of rain showers and thunderstorms.”
“With this development, enhanced rainfall is expected over the country, particularly over the western section which signifies the onset of the rainy season,” it added.
Loiz said the rainy season was a bit late in arriving. “Normally, the rainy season arrives in the last week of May or the first week of June,” he said.
He explained that the slight delay in the coming of the rainy season could be attributed to the absence of a weather disturbance in May.
Loiz pointed out that all the criteria for the rainy season had been met with the regular occurrence of rain showers and thunderstorms and the high level of humidity.
The weather forecaster also said that on average, three or four tropical cyclones usually occur in the months of July and August.
“This year, it may not be any different,” Loiz said.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, Dante was estimated at 1,295 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes province, with maximum sustained winds of 85 km per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph. It was moving north-northeast at a rate of 17 kph.
By Tuesday morning, Dante is expected to be 1,230 km northeast of Basco, well outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).
In its 5 p.m. forecast, Pagasa said the Mimaropa (Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and Western Visayan regions would experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of the country are expected to have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.
Beware of dengue
The Department of Health (DOH) urged local government units across the country to double their efforts in cleaning up their surroundings, particularly canals and creeks.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona said the DOH was on the lookout for cases of dengue and leptospirosis. These are water-borne diseases that usually thrive in a dirty environment, particularly in stagnant and contaminated canals and creeks.
To ensure that there won’t be a spike in these fatal water-borne diseases during the rainy days, Ona said the DOH had launched a campaign encouraging barangays (villages) to embark on a massive cleanup, particularly of canals and creeks, which are usually the sources of the deadly diseases.
“Each household must ensure that there is no freestanding water in their surroundings. We also hope that there will be a massive cleaning of our esteros to drive away [dengue-carrying] mosquitoes,” Ona said.
The DOH has observed a steady rise in the number of dengue cases this year. A total of 33,458 cases of dengue have been documented from January to May this year, seven percent higher compared to the number during the same period in 2012.
In August 2012, the DOH monitored more than 780 cases and 34 deaths due to leptospirosis in Metro Manila. This was after massive flooding in the capital and other areas in Luzon.
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