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PAGASA: Dry spell to hit Luzon due to developing El Niño

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
PAGASA: Dry spell to hit Luzon due to developing El Niño
Ana Liza Solis, chief of PAGASA’s climate monitoring and prediction section, said below normal rainfall might be experienced until the end of April.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — A dry spell may be experienced in Luzon in the first quarter of the year due to a developing El Niño, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned the public. 

Ana Liza Solis, chief of PAGASA’s climate monitoring and prediction section, said below normal rainfall might be experienced until the end of April. 

“Luzon may experience prolonged dry spell. Although we expect local thunderstorms by end of March or end of April, rains from this system would not be enough (to fill water reservoirs),” Solis told The STAR. 

She said Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Ilocos Norte have experienced dry spells in the past months due to El Niño-like conditions in the Pacific. 

Solis said the warming temperature in  the surface of Pacific Ocean remains above the El Niño threshold of 0.5 degrees Celsius. 

“El Niño is still expected to develop within the year,” she said, noting that the so-called “coupling” or the process that would sustain El Niño, could happen during the cold months of January and February.

 Solis said the northeast monsoon or cold and dry air from China and Siberia is stronger during El Niño.

Based on PAGASA’s latest forecast, there is an 80 percent chance that El Niño would develop in the coming months.

The Department of Agriculture created a task force to monitor and coordinate various programs to mitigate the possible impact of El Niño on certain crops like rice and corn, which account for nearly half of the total farm production in the country.

EL NIñO WEATHER
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