Stronger typhoons seen despite El Nino

Posted at 05/10/14 2:31 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The onset of the El Nino phenomenon later this year could bring a dry spell in Luzon as well as strong tropical storms.

Landrico Dalida, deputy director for operations and services of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), urged officials of the Cordillera Administrative Region and nearby regions to prioritize disaster risk reduction and preparedness measures.

Dalida told reporters in a press briefing the other day at the EGI Albergo Hotel in Baguio City that storms would most likely shift northwards.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) held a two-day disaster imagination workshop roadshow “Iba Na Ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” in Baguio City to prepare local officials for disaster risk reduction measures.

The DOST conducted their two-day disaster imagination workshops for Region 1 at the Oasis Country Resort Hotel last Monday and Tuesday.

Dalida said the strong typhoons would bring rainfall that would replenish the water tables and groundwater of northern Luzon.

“Westerly winds will get stonger because of the effect of El Niño and typhoons normally tend to shift northwards, towards Northern Luzon,” Dalida said.

“They have a threshold value of 0.5 degrees Celsius of sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) in the central equatorial and eastern Pacific (CEEP) for an average of three months to classify it as El Niño,” Dalida explained.

He said that starting last January up to April the SS sea surface temperature anomaly has been observed to be at 0.4.

By June, he said, it is expected to be at 0.5.

“After five months, by October and November, the sea surface temperature anomaly is expected to be at its peak, resulting in less rainfall in the Philippines,” Dalida said.

Stronger sea surface temperature will mean a stronger El Niño, he said.

“An El Niño effect is stronger westerlies overpowering easterlies, deflecting cloudiness over the Pacific Ocean, causing the displacement of tropical cyclones northward,” he said.

“We expect the El Nino to last for nine months until the last quarter of 2015,” he said.

“By October-November, we will know how strong it will be,” he said.

The Cordillera region is the 11th stop of the “Iba na ang Panahon: Science for Safer Communities” disaster imagination workshop nationwide.

It started last March with the first stop being Region 3, Central Luzon.

Meanwhile, residents of Murcia town in Negros Occidental were surprised by a hailstorm in Purok Damsite, Barangay Riverside.

Farmer Wilfredo Cunanan said the weather was hot the whole morning but when it started to rain in the afternoon, ice crystals as big as a man’s thumb fell from the sky.

The hailstorm lasted for about 15 minutes, the residents said.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, hailstorms usually happen when there is an unstable air mass in the atmosphere. With Danny Dangcalan