Dry conditions associated with El Niño will continue to affect five areas in Luzon and the Visayas toward the end of the month, the state weather bureau said yesterday.
In its latest El Niño advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Bataan, Cavite, Ilocos Norte and Biliran in Eastern Samar would experience “extended dry conditions” while a dry spell or drought may be declared in Cebu.
PAGASA said latest global climate models also showed that El Niño in the Pacific Ocean would intensify toward the end of the year and cause stronger typhoons.
El Niño has brought below normal rainfall and slightly warmer temperatures in the country in the past months.
Abra, Apayao, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Mountain Province, Palawan, Pampanga, Bohol, Agusan del Norte, Basilan, Camiguin, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga del Norte were affected by drought.
Albay, Batangas, Bulacan, Masbate, Nueva Ecija, Sorsogon, Negros Oriental, Samar, Southern Leyte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Leyte, Maguindanao, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Sarangani, Siquijor, South Cotabato, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat, Surigao del Sur and Zamboanga del Sur were affected by the dry spell.
Drought refers to three consecutive months of “way below normal” rainfall while a dry spell is characterized by three consecutive months of “below normal” rain.
Meanwhile, PAGASA warned that El Niño could cause tropical cyclones to be erratic and affect its track and intensity.
“The tropical cyclone tracks are expected to shift northward and its intensity could become stronger,” it said.
Tropical cyclones Ondoy and Milenyo hit the country during an El Niño season in 2009 to 2010 and 2006 to 2007, respectively.
Four cyclones have so far entered the Philippines this year. A new cyclone is forecast to enter the country this weekend. # ADAPTED NEWS - Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)