Less rainfall in PH as tropical cyclones seen altering normal course The El Niño weather phenomenon that began this year could be among the strongest in 65 years, US government scientists said on Thursday.The last El Niño, five years ago, had a major impact: It triggered monsoons in Southeast Asia; droughts in the Philippines, southern Australia and Ecuador; blizzards in the United States; heatwaves in Brazil; and killer floods in Mexico.The Philippine weather bureau Pagasa early this year alerted the public to prepare for the effects of a four-month dry spell that is forecast to affect 32 provinces.
Pagasa identified the provinces as Isabela, Aurora, Batangas, Cavite, Rizal, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Southern Leyte , Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Southern Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Maguindanao and Sulu.
Pagasa expects the dry condition to intensify El Niño from “weak” to “moderate” by August and the weather phenomenon may persist until December then gradually weaken in early 2016.
“Such El Niño may likely terminate by May 2016,” it said.
El Niño comes with a warming in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, and can cause unusually heavy rains in some parts of the world and drought elsewhere.
Such temperatures were previously seen in the 1972-1973 season, 1982-19-1998.
The southern United States from Florida to central California may expect higher than normal levels of precipitation, as can the US East Coast as far north as New England, Halpert said.
The northern Rockies, Great Lakes, Hawaii and western Alaska may be dryer and warmer than normal, he added.
This year’s El Niño began in March and is forecast to last about a year.
Authorities in Australia have already predicted it would be “strong” and “substantial.” That trend is still expected to continue, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, on a conference call with reporters to discuss the US agency’s latest forecast, released also on Thursday.