PAGASA to enhance weather advisories PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 04 March 2012 14:34

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will soon begin reporting to the public its forecast on dry or zero rainfall days nationwide.

The information will be part of PAGASA’s regular weather advisories.

“Informing people about the forecast on dry days aims to help better guide conduct of activities particular those depending on the sun,” said PAGASA chief Dr. Nathaniel Servando.

Such activities include salt-making and grain-drying.

This week, PAGASA said it forecasts the country to experience a wet 2012 summer due to the prevailing rain-driving La Niña phenomenon.

“We expect La Niña to persist till April or May,” said Dr. Flaviana Hilario, PAGASA Acting Deputy Administrator for Research and Development.

Both months are within the Philippines’ summer season.

La Niña is associated with cooler-than-normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.

The Philippines is typically wetter than normal during La Niña.

PAGASA forecasts conditions as returning to neutral by May with the southwest monsoon beginning to dominate then, however.

For June, PAGASA expects weakening of easterly winds that dominated during La Niña and occurrence of an increasingly stronger southwest monsoon.

Near- to above-normal rainfall can be generally expected in the country that month and onwards, PAGASA noted.

Such rainfall is typical during the country’s rainy season which generally begins around mid-year.

Six to 12 tropical cyclones are expected in the country from March to August 2012, PAGASA continued.

Citing latest available models, PAGASA reported SST in the succeeding months “will be increasing.”

PAGASA clarified it’s still early to say if the Philippines will be experiencing another onslaught of the El Niño phenomenon, however.

The agency hopes to come out with a forecast on such matter possibly by mid-2012.

NOAA noted El Niño is characterized by unusually warm temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific.

Dry conditions mark El Niño episodes in the Philippines.

El Niño and La Niña are extreme phases of a naturally occurring climate cycle called the El Niño/Southern Oscillation, NOAA said.

Such extremes result from interaction between surface of the ocean and atmosphere in the tropical Pacific, NOAA added.