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El Niño has 41% chance to reach 'strong' level from November to January —PAGASA

There is a 41% chance the El Niño phenomenon that is expected to be experienced in the country will reach a "strong" level by November to January, state weather bureau PAGASA said Wednesday.

"We could expect na mag-start siya from weak, magiging moderate, until kung magtutuloy pa siya (if it upgrades) into a strong El Niño in November-December-January," senior weather specialist Rusy Abastillas said during PAGASA's climate forum.

The El Niño phenomenon is characterized by the abnormal warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean and below-normal rainfall.

According to Abastillas, there is an 87% chance for a weak El Niño and 67% for a moderate El Niño by November-December-January.

PAGASA earlier said they would likely escalate from El Niño Watch to El Niño Alert in May, which means there was a 70% chance that the dry spell phenomenon would occur within the next two months.

Abastillas said that in July at least three provinces in Mindanao may start experiencing below-normal rainfall.

In August, below normal rainfall may also be experienced in 15 provinces in Bicol, Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao, she added.

In September, only Bicol may experience below-normal rainfall.

In October, most parts of Luzon and Visayas may experience below-normal rainfall, according to Abastillas.

Abastillas also shared the forecast for the possible areas that will have dry days or days with less than 1 millimeter of rainfall observed.

Abastillas said that in May Northern Luzon, Palawan, and some parts of Western Visayas, and Central Visayas will face the most number of dry days with around 21 to 25 days.

In June, the eastern portion of Northern Luzon may have the most dry days up to 25 days, she added.

In October, almost the entire Luzon and southern portion of Mindanao may also experience the most number of dry days with the same range.

Abastillas said temperatures ranging from slightly above average to way above average can be felt from May to October in some areas of the country. —VAL, GMA Integrated News