MANILA (UPDATE) — La Niña, a weather pattern characterized by more frequent rains than usual, has a 75-percent chance of becoming "full blown" this month or in November, the state weather bureau said Friday.
The weather pattern may last until the third quarter of 2021, PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano said in a virtual briefing.
“Tinitingnan natin kung ito ay makakaapekto hanggang sa 3rd quarter ng 2021. More than normal ang ma-eexperience nating rainfall during La Niña,” said Dr. Malano
(We will see if this will continue until the 3rd quarter of 2021. We will experience more than normal rainfall during La Niña.)
La Niña, caused by below-average sea surface temperatures, can occur on average every 2 to 7 years, said the US National Ocean Service.
Ana Solis, PAGASA’s climate monitoring and prediction section chief, said the weather pattern’s forecast is expected to affect the Mimaropa region, the eastern section of Luzon, the entire Visayas and Mindanao regions particularly from December until March.
“Nag-start na po ang La Niña so 'yung impact niya pwede nating maranasan from October to March, at least base sa nakikita nating forecast,” Solis said adding that a weak to moderate La Niña could still cause adverse impact especially to vulnerable areas.
(La Niña has started and we may start to feel its impact from October to March, at least based on the forecast.)
Solis said that La Niña may be categorized as weak to moderate but it may still cause adverse effects like landslide and flooding in vulnerable areas.
She cited the La Niña that occurred in 2006 where it caused floods on a normally dry western section of Luzon.
“Lahat ng sector posibleng maapektuhan lalo na 'yung agricultural, water resources, human health, environment and then urban,” said Solis.
(It is possible that all sectors will be affected particularly agriculture, water resources, human health, environment and urban [areas].)
But Pagasa also sees the positive impact of La Niña especially in helping replenish dwindling water supply in some dams.
“Without La Niña talagang kukulangin tayo ng tubig sa ating mga (we will have a water shortage in our) dams,” said Roy Badilla, PAGASA’s weather services chief for Hydro-Metereology Division.