PAGASA warns La Niña may begin in December
MANILA, Philippines – State weather bureau PAGASA warned Filipinos to prepare as La Niña is developing in the country.
In a news briefing on Wednesday, November 22, PAGASA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Flaviana Hilario said there is a 70% chance that La Niña would begin in December.
La Niña is a weather phenomenon characterized by more rain, colder temperatures, and stronger winds from the east.
Hilario noted that cooler than expected weather already began last September.
If La Niña does fully develop, PAGASA Climate Information Monitoring and Prediction Section officer-in-charge Ana Solis said it is not expected to last beyond March 2018. Solis, however, gave the following warning.
"Although short-lived at weak La Niña, marami na po mga pangyayari na kung saan although weak La Niña 'yung naranasan natin, 'yung impact naman po nito is [significant]," she said.
(Although it may be a short-lived and weak La Niña, we've seen instances where although we were experiencing a weak La Niña, there was significant impact.)
PAGASA's forecast shows normal to above normal rainfall from December 2017 to March 2018, mostly in the Visayas or Mindanao. Below is the summary of projected rainfall:
- near to above normal rainfall conditions will be likely in the country
- below normal rainfall over Western Luzon
- near to above normal rainfall in Eastern Luzon and most parts of the Visayas and Mindanao
- near to above normal rainfall in Luzon with some patches of below normal rainfall in the Ilocos area
- above normal rainfall in the Visayas and Mindanao
- below normal rainfall in most parts of Luzon, except Aurora, Isabela, and Bicol with near normal rainfall
- near to above normal rainfall in the Visayas and Mindanao
Tropical cyclones may also form in or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) during the period of La Niña, and even during summer:
- December 2017 – 1 or 2
- January 2018 – 0 or 1
- February 2018 – 0 or 1
- March 2018 – 0 or 1
- April 2018 – 0 or 1
- May 2018 – 1 or 2
"Actually kung maaalala natin, ang malalakas na bagyo natin ay last quarter – October to December. Posible po na magkaroon tayo ng malakas na bagyo [in December] pero hindi natin sinisigurado na kasinlakas po ni Yolanda. But for precautionary measures, we should be prepared for the worst," said PAGASA Weather Division chief Esperanza Cayanan.
(If you recall, we usually experience strong typhoons in the last quarter – October to December. It's possible we could have a strong typhoon in December but we're not necessarily saying it will be as strong as Super Typhoon Yolanda. But for precautionary measures, we should be prepared for the worst.)
"Hindi tayo dapat masyadong mag-relax, lalo na at festive mood na naman tayo ngayong December," she added.
(We shouldn't be complacent, especially since we'll be in a festive mood this December.)
Yolanda devastated Eastern Visayas in November 2013, leaving 6,300 people dead. – Rappler.com