Fewer typhoons this year due to El Niño

ILOILO City – The number of tropical cyclones that will enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this year will be fewer than in previous years due to the El Niño phenomenon, according to Rene Paciente, chief of the Marine Meteorological Services Section – Weather Division of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

“Ang daming bagyo na mabubuo sa Western Pacific. Ganoon pa rin. Pero ang track is going to Japan, hindi papasok sa PAR,” said Paciente who was in Iloilo early this week for the launching of the Enhanced Operation L!sto Manual of the Department of Interior and Local Government.

This is due to the El Niño phenomenon currently hitting the country, he added.

According to Asian Disaster Reduction Center, the Philippines – located along the typhoon belt in the Pacific – is visited by an average of 20 typhoons every year, five of which are destructive.

Citing the Pagasa advisory, Paciente said the dry spell or less rainfall due to El Niño will continue until May.

“From January to March, masyado pong mababa ang actual rainfall natin kaya way below normal ang ulan. Marami ng areas na may dry spell and drought,” he added.

With this, Paciente said, there would be a delay in the onset of rainy season which may happen in June.

Pagasa described dry spell as two months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall conditions or two consecutive months of way below normal (more than 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall conditions.

Drought, on the other hand, is defined as three consecutive months of way below normal (60 percent reduction from average) or five consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall condition.

“Dapat maging handa po tayo sa mga darating pang buwan kung saan asahan na kokonti ang paulan,” said Paciente.

One of the sectors to be greatly is agriculture, warned Paciente. He advised farmers to plant crops that do not need much water./PN


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