El Niño Alert: PAGASA says phenomenon of hot, dry weather now more likely

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El Niño Alert: PAGASA says phenomenon of hot, dry weather now more likely
A farmer checks the dry soil on his farm in this 2019 file photo.
The STAR / KJ Rosales, file

MANILA, Philippines — The state weather bureau issued Tuesday an El Niño Alert, indicating a high chance the weather phenomenon associated with dry spells and drought will develop within the next two months.

In a statement, PAGASA said the probability of El Niño developing during the June to August season has increased to 80%. The weather phenomenon may persist until the first quarter of 2024.

An alert is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of El Niño within the next two months, and the probability is more than 70%.

PAGASA said that El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could result in dry spells and droughts in some areas of the Philippines.

However, above-normal rain during the southwest monsoon (habagat) season may also be expected in the western portion of the country.

PAGASA earlier urged the public to conserve water as El Niño can deplete water supplies. The 2019 El Niño contributed to a massive decline in rainfall, leading to water shortage in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.

Government preparations

As the Philippines braces for the return of El Niño, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. signed an executive order creating an office that will ensure the availability and sustainable management of water resources in the country. 

The National Irrigation Administration identified areas that will be prioritized for irrigation, and will implement the alternate wetting and drying technique in anticipation of the weather phenomenon’s impacts on the country’s agricultural production.

The Department of Health also issued dos and don’ts to avoid health problems such as heat stress, skin diseases, and respiratory illnesses as El Niño rolls in. 

According to the World Meteorological Organization, there is an increased likelihood that the world will see the warmest year on record with El Niño.

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