The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned the public on the possibility of a La Niña event occurring later this year, after El Niño ends.
La Niña is the opposite of El Niño and is characterized by above normal rainfall, strong monsoon activity, and formation of more tropical cyclones.
Anthony Lucero, PAGASA climate monitoring and prediction section chief, said strong El Niños are usually followed by equally strong La Niñas.
He added that although waning, El Niño would continue to cause below normal rainfall and warmer air temperatures in the country in the next several months.
Lucero cited the 1997-1998 strong El Niño, which was followed by a La Niña in 1999 when many parts of the country experienced intense rainfall and flooding.
The most tragic effect of the 1999 La Niña was the landslide at the Cherry Hills Subdivision in Barangay San Luis, Antipolo City that killed 58 people.
The last La Niña event was in 2012 when the Philippines experienced massive flooding due to days of intense rains brought by habagat or southwest monsoon.
According to the Australia Bureau of Meteorology, of the 26 El Niño events since 1900, around 50 percent have been followed by a neutral year and 40 percent by La Niña.
The agency, however, added that while La Niña in 2016 cannot be ruled out, another El Niño is not likely. # Adapted News - Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)