In its latest climate outlook, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said at present, there is 65 percent chance of an El Niño in the fourth quarter of this year.
Michael Varcas
El Niño dry spell looms in first quarter of 2019 – PAGASA
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The state weather bureau warned of a possible dry spell in the first quarter of next year due to a developing El Niño phenomenon.

In its latest climate outlook, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said at present, there is 65 percent chance of an El Niño in the fourth quarter of this year.

El Niño refers to above-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and is associated with below normal rainfall.

Ana Liza Solis, officer-in-charge of PAGASA’s climate monitoring and prediction section, said the sea surface temperature anomalies might reach the El Niño threshold of 0.5 degrees Celsius this month.

“A majority of the models predict that a weak El Niño will develop (this month),” Solis said, noting that some models also show that El Niño could reach moderate level.

Ger Anne Marie Duran, a weather observer at PAGASA, said El Niño is expected to affect the country’s rainfall pattern beginning January and February next year.

She said generally, way below to below normal rainfall conditions are expected, particularly over Luzon with patches of near normal rainfall over Mindanao.

Duran also stressed that drier weather conditions are expected in areas where a majority of the country’s dams and river basins are located.

“El Niño will affect the rainfall pattern over the northern Philippines or Luzon area,” she said.

She said El Niño would also bring warmer nights by January and February, which are usually the coldest months of the year in the country.

A warmer Christmas season is also likely in some parts of the country, Duran said.

“For December, there are many areas with warmer mean temperature anomaly. These include Central Luzon, the Visayas and Northern Mindanao, while slightly cooler temperature is expected over extreme Northern Luzon due to the northeast monsoon,” she said. 

In late 2015 to June 2016, the country experienced one of the most severe El Niño on record, with the production of staple crops such as rice hitting low levels. – Rhodina Villanueva, Louise Maureen Simeon

CLIMATE EL NIñO WEATHER
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