‘Nona’ ended drought in some areas–Pagasa
MONSOON rains triggered by Typhoon “Nona” (international name: Melor), last year’s final tropical cyclone, killed over 42 people and damaged up to P2 billion in infrastructure but it also wiped out drought in many provinces in Luzon and the Visayas.
Data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) showed 32 provinces in Luzon recovered from months of rainfall deficit with just a few days of torrential northeast monsoon rains triggered by Nona in mid-December.
However the provinces of Albay in Luzon, Northern Samar and Samar in the Visayas and North Cotabato in Mindanao remained in drought despite being hit by Nona.
Pagasa climatologist Dr. Ana Liza Solis said Albay, Northern Samar and Samar provinces still lacked more than half of the rains they usually get in December despite the typhoon and the monsoon rains that followed.
The biggest factor that wiped out the drought in Luzon was the northeast monsoon rains enhanced by Nona, Solis said.
Solis said most of the Luzon provinces usually receive little rain in December, so the torrential monsoon rains were more than enough to cover the deficit.
An area is in drought when it receives at least 60 percent less than the normal rainfall for at least three consecutive months, according to Pagasa.
Meanwhile, 24 provinces are still experiencing a dry spell or three consecutive months of 21 to 60 percent less than the average rainfall.
These areas include Palawan and Camarines Sur in Luzon; Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Biliran and Eastern Samar in the Visayas; and Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi in Mindanao.
Typhoon Nona made landfall over central Philippines last Dec. 14 and 15, causing up to P5.2 billion worth to damage to infrastructure and agriculture.
It was immediately followed by monsoon rains that caused widespread floods in central and northern Luzon.
Before Nona’s exit, Tropical Depression “Onyok” brought heavy rains over eastern and northern Mindanao last Dec.17 and 18 before it diminished into a low pressure area, damaging up to P1.1 billion worth of infrastructure and agriculture.
Pagasa’s climatology monitoring and prediction section warned that most of the country will continue to suffer from drought conditions this year due to the raging El Niño weather anomaly and warned of possible widespread damage to crops.
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