El Niño preventing cyclone entry to Philippines
Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - January 14, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - No tropical cyclone is expected to enter the country until next month due to El Niño, an official of the state weather bureau said yesterday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said El Niño, which developed in March last year and has caused drought in many parts of the country, is expected to last until the second quarter of the year.

Anthony Lucero, PAGASA officer-in-charge for climate impact, monitoring and prediction section, said no cyclone entered the country in January and February of 1972, 1982, 1997 and 2009, during which the country was hit by El Niño.

Last year, only 15 cyclones occurred, lower than the annual average of 19 to 20.

Lucero said “below to way below normal” rainfall is expected in most areas from January to April.

About 85 percent or 68 provinces of the country, mostly agricultural areas, are likely to be hit by drought by the end of April.

Only two to six tropical cyclones are seen to enter the Philippine area of responsibility in the first half of the year, Lucero said.

PAGASA deputy administrator Flaviana Hilario said El Niño’s impact could possibly be felt up to the second half of the year.

The agency is appealing to the public to save water as the dry spell can bring down the water level in dams.

The country relies on rainfall to fill its dams.

El Niño is expected to bring warmer than normal temperatures during the dry or summer season.

 

ANTHONY LUCERO ATILDE COUNTRY EL NI FLAVIANA HILARIO GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION JANUARY AND FEBRUARY LUCERO PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC PLUSMN YEAR
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