PAGASA: El Nino impact to be felt by September

By Helen Flores, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 13 2014 04:31 AM | Updated as of Jun 13 2014 12:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Some parts of the country will feel the impact of El Nino by September, according to an official of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) yesterday.

“Starting September, rainfall patterns in some parts of the country will be affected,” PAGASA weather forecasting section chief Rene Paciente said.

He said below normal rainfall will initially be experienced in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Bicol and Western Visayas.

Cordillera is the primary source of highland vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes and cabbage.

The Bicol region, on the other hand, produces three major crops, namely pili nuts, abaca and coconut.

Western Visayas is the largest producer of sugar and the third largest rice producer in the country. The region also produces coconut, banana, fruits, root crops and vegetables.

Paciente said the drier than normal condition could last up to early 2015.

He said the situation would be even more alarming if as early as September the country would be receiving below normal rainfall.

“We can expect a critical scenario during the summer season next year,” he said.

Paciente said the country also received below normal rainfall during the dry months of April and May.

On the other hand, the country can expect fewer but more intense tropical cyclones this year due to El Niño.

“Although the number of cyclones developing over the Pacific Ocean will still be normal, there is a high possibility that these disturbances would recurve northward,” Paciente said.

He said they expect around 15 to 18 cyclones to enter the Philippine area of responsibility this year.

Around 19 to 20 cyclones usually visit the country every year.

Paciente said in 2010, only 11 cyclones entered the Philippine area of responsibility when the country was affected by an El Niño phenomenon.

Foreign meteorological agencies have forecast that El Niño is likely to develop by August.