Onset of El Nino in June - Pagasa

Posted at 05/01/14 5:47 PM

MANILA - Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo said it is "almost certain" that El Niño conditions will occur this year.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) foresees the onset of El Niño this June. It may peak in the last quarter of 2014 and may last until the first quarter of 2015.

The findings are based on recent Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly (SSTA) readings in the Central and Eastern Equatorial Pacific (CEEP) that indicate a rise of 0.4 degrees Celsius from the normal temperature. El Niño conditions are characterized by an SSTA of 0.5 degrees Celsius or higher for a 3-month period.

El Niño is a global phenomenon within a 2-to 7-year cycle that brings reduced rainfalls.

Different parts of the country, however, may experience varying impacts.

PAGASA said it will be issuing a monthly rainfall outlook to prepare for the possible changes.

The intensity of cyclones is also expected to increase and may move northward. This means Luzon may be more at risk compared to Visayas and Mindanao.

Some of the most devastating typhoons occur during El Niño years, such as Typhoon Milenyo (2006) and Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng (2009).

Pagasa advised the public not to waste water to prepare for El Niño.

This is to ensure that dams all over the country will have enough supply for electrification and irrigation in a worst case scenario.