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PAGASA issues El Niño alert as forecasts show 80% probability in next 3 months

State weather bureau PAGASA on Tuesday issued an El Niño alert after forecasts showed that the phenomenon may emerge in the next three months at 80% probability and may last until the first quarter of next year.

“Recent conditions and model forecasts indicate that El Niño may emerge in the coming season (June-July-August) at 80% probability and may persist until the first quarter of 2024. With this development, the PAGASA El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Alert and Warning System is now raised to EL NIÑO ALERT,” PAGASA said in a statement.

“When conditions are favorable for the development of El Niño within the next two months at a probability of 70% or more, an El Niño ALERT is issued,” the state weather bureau explained.

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.

While El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, PAGASA said above-normal rainfall conditions during the Southwest Monsoon season also known as Habagat season may also be expected over the western part of the country.

PAGASA will continue to closely monitor the development of this ENSO phenomenon. All concerned government agencies and the general public are encouraged to keep on monitoring and take precautionary measures against the impending impacts of El Niño.

Last week, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. called for the creation of a team that would focus on mitigating the effects of the  El Niño phenomenon.

Over the weekend, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said Marcos’ order to form a team that would address and mitigate the effects of El Niño will materialize in the next few days

Meanwhile, regardless of the effects of the dreaded El Nino, whether severe drought or heavy rains, PAGASA advised everyone not to waste water.

“Magtipid pa rin tayo ng tubig para pagdating ng mga dry spell o drought na inaasahan natin sa last quarter ng taon o first quarter of the following year, at least po sa next dry season ay meron pa rin tayong mga tubig na available sa atin," Solis added.

(Let's conserve water so when the dry spell comes or for the next dry season, we will still have available water.) —with Sherylin Untalan/ KG/ VAL, GMA Integrated News