Fewer typhoons, lesser rains as El Niño rages – PAG-ASA

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo 

FEWER typhoons were enter the country in the following months due to the El Niño phenomenon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA).

Renito Paciente, chief of the Marine Meteorological Services Section under PAG-ASA’s Weather Division, 50 percent of rainfall is induced by typhoons.

Hence, the country will be experiencing less rainfall in the coming months.

“We expect na mas bababa yung bagyo dahil na rin sa El Niño. Ang bagyo ang nagdadala ng 40 to 50 percent ng rainfall, pag kokonti yung bagyo definitely mas kokonti ang ulan na mararanasan,” he said.

El Niño is the warm phase of ENSO or El Niño-Southern Oscillation. It refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.

The ENSO cycle is a scientific term that describes the fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific (approximately between the International Date Line and 120 degrees West).

Since January to March 2019, Paciente said most areas of the country received below normal rainfall.

Based on observed rainfall from October 2018 to February 2019 by PAG-ASA, several areas in the country were affected by meteorological dry condition, dry spell, or drought. 

Recently, the Provincial Agricultural Office of Iloilo province reported that 24,692 metric tons (MT) of rice valued at P401 million were lost due to the dry spell.

As of Feb 28, 2019, almost 13,630 rice farmers from 32 towns in the province are affected by the dry spell.

In Negros Occidental, P6.11 million worth of rice crops in the seven barangays in Cauayan, Negros Occidental were also lost due to the dry spell, according to the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC)-6.

According to PAGASA, drought is defined as three consecutive months way below normal rainfall condition (>60% reduction from average rainfall) while dry spell is defined as three consecutive months of below normal rainfall condition (21-60% reduction from average rainfall).

PAGASA added that the recent conditions suggest that this phenomenon will likely to continue until the April-May-June 2019 season.

Recently, Tropical Depression “Chedeng” was able to enter PAR but according to Paciente, it did not brought enough rainfall that affected much of the region.

“Bagyong Chedeng, wala gaanong epekto yung pagulan, humina at kominti yung rain clouds na dala niya,” he said.

With the continuous, El Niño phenomenon, Paciente advised farmers to plant crops that has limited water requirements and are drought resistant.

Ngayong mas konti yung paulan natin. Ang advise ko magtanim ng crops with less water requirements and may resistance sa init. Huwag yung palay na maraming tubig ang kailangan, lipat tayo sa drought resistant,” he said.

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