Summer is officially here: PAGASA says El Niño may run until August

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THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared the official start of the dry season on Friday, saying that the El Niño phenomenon may last until August.

“With this development, the day-to-day weather across the country will gradually become warmer, though isolated thunderstorms are also likely to occur,” said state weather bureau in a statement on Friday, March 22.

However, PAGASA said that extreme Northern Luzon may still experience the occasional northeasterly wind flow.

The weather bureau also noted that the ongoing weak El Niño, which is affecting large areas of the country, may result in prolonged dry spells and hotter air temperature in the coming months.

In a press briefing, PAGASA deputy administrator for research and development Flaviana D. Hilario said: “’Yung pong ating El Niño… ang forecast po as of now ay hanggang August. ’Yung dating June ay medyo tumaas yung probability, more than 50% [or] around 60% ay pwedeng hanggang Agosto ay meron tayong El Niño.” (We forecast that El Niño will last until August. After the previous report that it may last until June, the probability got higher, more than 50% or around 60% is the chance that we might experience El Niño until August.)

Meanwhile, PAGASA climate monitoring head Analiza S. Solis said during the press briefing that 55 cities and provinces have been officially experiencing dry spell as of March 19, with the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Maguindanao, and Sulu have been experiencing a drought since Feb. 28. Of the 55 areas, 28 are in Luzon, 12 in Visayas, and 15 in Mindanao.

“Ito po yung mino-monitor at tinitigan ng PAGASA kung itong mga areas under dry spell sa kasalukuyang panahon ay magpo-prolong pa o magtutuloy-tuloy pa in next coming months, April, May, and June,” said Ms. Solis. (We are monitoring if the dry spells in these areas will continue in the next coming months, from April, May, and June.) — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras