El Niño may worsen in April — PAGASA

Published March 24, 2019, 1:44 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Philippine News Agency and Ellson Quismorio

The drought-driving El Niño phenomenon may cause drier and warmer conditions nationwide this April.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) said way-below normal rainfall in 26 provinces and below-normal rainfall in 57 provinces are possible next month.

THE WORST IS YET TO COME – A field in Talisay, Cebu, is parched as El Niño grips large parts of the country. Extremely dry conditions are to continue through April, coupled with rising temperatures. (EFE-EPA / MANILA BULLETIN)
THE WORST IS YET TO COME – A field in Talisay, Cebu, is parched as El Niño grips large parts of the country. Extremely dry conditions are to continue through April, coupled with rising temperatures. (EFE-EPA / MANILA BULLETIN)

It added that 51 provinces or 61 percent of the country may be already drought-stricken while 32 other provinces can be under the dry spell by the end of April this year.

“April is when we see severe impacts in terms of meteorological drought,” said Analiza Solis, officer-in-charge of the PAGASA Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section.

Solis explained drought is a condition marked by either three consecutive months of way-below normal rainfall or five consecutive months of below-normal rainfall.

Dry spell, on the other, is either two consecutive months of way-below normal rainfall conditions or three consecutive months of below-normal rainfall, she continued.

At a recent forum in Quezon City, Solis reminded the public to brace for heat as PAGASA also forecast maximum temperature in April to range from 28.9 degree Celsius in mountainous Luzon to 38.9 degree Celsius in Mindanao’s lowlands and 39.5 degree Celsius in Northern Luzon.

“We’ll likely have a prolonged dry season,” she said.

Early termination of the northeast monsoon or “amihan” this year and the possible delay in the onset of the 2019 rainy season due to El Nino mean the country is facing prolonged dryness, she said.

PAGASA expects such dryness to begin easing around May, forecasting near-normal rainfall then in most parts of Northern Luzon and Mindanao.

Near-normal rainfall is possible in most parts of the Visayas and Mindanao this June, PAGASA also said.

It also forecasted that most parts of the country experienced way-below to below-normal rainfall conditions from March 1 to 20 this year.

PAGASA also said temperature during such period was generally near-average, reaching slightly above-average level in Mindanao and slightly below-average level in some areas of Luzon.

PAGASA announced on March 22 the termination of “amihan” that brings cool winds to the country every year. The end of “amihan” signaled the start of the dry season’s peak — the period commonly called ‘summer.’

Authorities have advised people to avoid direct exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., drink more water, and wear light clothing to protect them from ailments due to excessive heat.

Headaches and dizziness are some heat-related ailments people can experience, she added.

Irrigation water

The National Irrigation Administration has assured irrigation water supply to rice lands in Bulacan and some parts of Pampanga until May 15.

Eliseo Bitangcol, press relation officer of NIA-Central Luzon, said there is no problem with the irrigation water supply until rice crops are harvested based on the water allocation provided by the National Water Resources Board.

Rainwater collection law

Surigao del Sur 2nd Rep. Johnny Pimentel is prodding the House of Representatives to look into the “lifeless performance” of a 30-year-old law that requires the installation of rainwater collectors in all barangays in the country.

“We actually have a 1989 statute that calls for the construction of rainwater harvesters in all barangays. But it seems that the execution of the law has been wanting,” Pimentel said, referring to the Rainwater Collector and Springs Development Law, Republic Act (RA) 6715.

“Congress has to ascertain the factors holding up the law’s aggressive operation, and fix the problem right away –whether it is simply due to lack of funding or other issues,” he said. (With a report from Freddie C. Velez)

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news"]
[2111104,2814292,2534630,2485825,2408462,2358243,2358052,2344118,2339143,2047660,1998697,996820,995332,995948,995006,994327,994303,993947,993860,993770,993529,993383,993285,798318,3093218,3093211,3093205,3093200,3093196,3093194]