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PAGASA forecasts late El Niño

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The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasts the probability of El Niño in the country sometime in the later quarters of 2017.

Chief Meteorological Officer Maribel G. Enriquez reported that the status for the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is inactive.

“Wala po tayong El Niño, wala po tayong La Niña,” said Enriquez as she presented to the media the climate outlook for Zamboanga City and the region during the press conference at City Hall on Monday, March 13.

However, Enriquez noted that there is around 52% probability that El Niño will come in during the months of August, September, October, and November. Rainfall in the City will be affected during these months, with August forecasted to have a rainfall levels below normal. Rainfall for March and April will register at normal, while May and June will bring in above normal rainfall.

Towards this end, Mayor Beng Climaco has set in motion pre-emptive responses to help the City brace for the effects of the expected dry season even as she urged residents to be conscious of how they use their water.

The local government will be utilizing the topographic maps provided by the USAID Be-Secure to determine areas with geo-hazards and climate change incidents to project what needs to be done during extreme weather conditions.

Climaco said that buildings in the City have also been retrofitted to provide rainwater catchment, allowing accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on-site. Additionally, an impounding dam is an option being studied and considered by the local government to tackle the City’s water issues.

In the meantime, residents should expect isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms in the next few days as the City is experiencing the tail end of the cold front. Enriquez said that the northeast monsoon will be transitioning to the easterlies in the next month, which will mean thunderstorms, high pressure and low pressure areas, and tropical storms

“Medyo magulo el viento,” she said.

According to Enriquez, Zamboanga City can expect zero to one tropical storm for March and April, zero to two tropical storms in May, zero to three from June to July, and two to four in August. (Jasmine Mohammadsali)




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