The possibility of approaching storms and weather conditions being intensified as they hit the country is now at higher odds as the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has made its first La Niňa advisory this year.
La Niňa’s approach was first noted by PAGASA when it noticed lower than average surface temperatures within the Pacific Ocean’s central and equatorial regions back in July, which would subsequently decrease further by September.
Once temperatures lowered in September, PAGASA estimated that there was a 70% chance of La Niňa arriving, with its increased rainfall effect, in tow.
“These past few months, signs of emerging La Niña were not only observed in the tropical Pacific but also manifested in the Philippine climate, especially in the wind and rainfall pattern, and recently, some extreme rainfall events in this first half of October, which were associated with Severe Tropical Storm “Maring” (international name Kompasu),” the state weather bureau explained.
With La Niňa settling in on the country’s shores, the southwest monsoon, or Habagat, has ended its stay and left, to make room for the northeast monsoon, or Amihan.
These recent developments will have weather officials on full alert with regard to monitoring, as La Niňa has severely amplified weather conditions in the past.
Intensified rainfall has led to heavy flooding and dangerous landslides in mountainous regions, resulting in a myriad of lives lost, and billions in damage to infrastructure as well as agriculture.
Recent typhoons such as Maring (Kompasu) which devastated Northern Luzon earlier this month, as well as Ulysses (Vamco), and Rolly (Goni) which hit Visayas, in November and October of last year, respectively, were all strengthened by La Niňa.
According to government estimates, last year’s infrastructural and agricultural damages due to severe weather occurrences amounted to a total of P82 billion.
La Niňa is set to remain within the country, enhancing rainfall, until early 2022.
Photo: Manila Bulletin