EL Niño is a natural phenomenon that occurs when ocean surface temperature in the East Central Pacific becomes warmer than usual. El Niño event usually cause the average temperature of the global atmosphere to rise. This combined with human induced climate warming can result in new national and global heat records, and changes rainfall and temperature patterns.
The most predictable effects of El Niño are wetter weather conditions in certain area and drier conditions in others. The weather phenomenon, which started November last year, has triggered droughts and dry spells in many areas in the country in the past months. PAGASA forecast says some parts of the country will continue to receive below-normal rain in the coming months. PAGASA warned the public to brace for stronger tropical cyclones. The current El Niño, which is considered as “weak,” is not expected to reduce the number of tropical cyclones that would enter the Philippine area of responsibility this year. About 10 to 13 cyclones may enter or develop inside the Philippine area of responsibility between June and November, according to PAGASA.
Strong and devastating cyclones were experienced during El Niño in the recent years, 2004, 2006, 2009, and 2015. Ondoy on Sept 26, 2009 is just an example of a disastrous storm in the presence of a strong El Niño phenomenon. While these patterns have been in past El Niño, the reality is that no two El Niño is identical and there are many other climate factors that could affect these patterns.
We have the necessary knowledge and technology to help us to anticipate, respond, and adapt. So, we can be better prepared for negative effect of El Niño. Let’s stay informed and stay prepared.