11 Visayas and Mindanao provinces feel effects of El Niño

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
11 Visayas and Mindanao provinces feel effects of El Niño
A farmer checks the dry soil on his farm in this 2019 file photo.
The STAR / KJ Rosales, file

MANILA, Philippines — Amid heavy rainfall and massive flooding in parts of Luzon, 11 provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao have experienced “meteorological dry condition” due to the El Niño phenomenon.

These are Aklan, Capiz, Zamboanga del Sur, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan and Maguindanao.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the provinces experienced two consecutive months of below normal rainfall.

On July 4, PAGASA declared the onset of El Niño.

As the effects of El Niño are being felt in parts of the country, PAGASA said the phenomenon is forecast to strengthen from moderate to strong toward the end of the year.

State weather forecasters said the number of affected provinces may increase.

El Niño is a weather condition characterized by unusually warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the central equatorial pacific.

Climate models predict that El Niño, which increases the likelihood of below normal rainfall conditions, will persist until the first quarter of 2024.

El Niño brings adverse impacts, including dry spells and droughts that affect climate-sensitive sectors such as water resources, agriculture, energy, health and public safety.

PAGASA said dry spell is characterized by three consecutive months of below normal rainfall.

Drought is experienced when there are five consecutive months of below normal rainfall.

“All government agencies and the general public are encouraged to take precautionary measures to mitigate the adverse impacts of the climate phenomenon,” PAGASA officer-in-charge Nathaniel Servando said in an advisory.

Meanwhile, near normal rainfall conditions are forecast over most parts of the country.

Some areas in the western part of Luzon are likely to receive above normal rainfall, PAGASA said.

Above normal rainfall conditions had been experienced in most parts of Luzon, which contributed to the increase in the water level of most dams, the state weather bureau said.

PAGASA said the southwest monsoon, localized thunderstorms, intertropical convergence zones and low-pressure areas may affect the country this month.

Two to three tropical cyclones may develop or enter the Philippine area of responsibility.

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