Adios, El Niño
The El Niño phenomenon, characterized by dry and hot weather, has officially ended, but its effects will likely persist in parts of the country, state weather scientists said on Wednesday.
La Niña, its counterpart, is expected to be felt by the end of the year, or during the so-called “ber” months, said Analiza Solis of the weather agency’s Climatological and Agrometeorological division.
She said that the 2015 to 2016 El Niño has ended in June, with sea surface temperatures in the Philippine side of the Pacific Ocean currently “neutral” as of July.
“Meaning, we have no El Niño or La Niña as July begins,” Solis told a news conference. “El Niño” and “La Niña” refer, respectively, to warmer than normal and cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific.
Quoting international prediction centers, Solis, however, added “there is around 50 to 75 percent chances of having La Niña conditions this year, so La Niña watch is still in effect.”
Solis said La Niña may start to develop from July to October, with possible “full-blown” occurrence sometime between October and January next year.
This may occur even as “there are still areas with lower than normal rainfall conditions” as of June 30, which Solis described as the “lag effects” of El Niño.
In its final El Niño advisory for the year, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) noted that Ilocos Norte, Batanes and Camarines Sur were affected by a dry spell, and six provinces, namely, Bataan, Albay, Masbate, Guimaras, Iloilo and Davao Oriental experienced drought in June.
The western section of Luzon including most areas in Bicol, southern Panay, Sarangani and Davao Oriental also received below normal amount of rainfall.
Palawan, Central Visayas, most of the eastern sections of the country and most areas of Mindanao, however, already enjoyed near to above normal rainfall conditions in June, it said.
For July, the weather bureau expects up to three tropical cyclones that may develop or enter the country, with a total of nine to 15 tropical cyclones expected to develop from July to December, Solis said.
Solis said most parts of Luzon may experience below normal amount of rainfall in July, and near to above normal amount from August to December.
Visayas and Mindanao are also expected to experience near to above normal amount of rainfall from July to the rest of the year, save for some areas in western Visayas, Sarangani, Surigao del Norte and Sulu, which are likely to have below normal rainfall conditions.
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