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90% chance El Niño will persist until Q1 of 2024 —PAGASA

State weather bureau PAGASA on Thursday said there is "90% chance" that El Niño will persist until the first quarter of 2024.

“Nakikita natin na 90% chance na ang El Niño na mag-persist until the first quarter ng 2024,” said Thelma Cinco, chief of PAGASA's Climatology and Agrometeorology Division, during a televised public briefing.

PAGASA first issued an El Niño alert in April, and then again in May.

El Niño occurs every two to seven years, usually after La Niña, and can last up to eight months. As such, it affects agriculture and food security the most, as it did in 2018 when the Philippines last experienced El Niño. Back then, nearly 300,000 farmers were affected, and agriculture damages amounted to nearly P8 billion.

The 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.

“Tag-init pa rin pero towards end of May, tag-ulan na so huhupa na yung tag-init sa atin,” Cinco said, pointing out that rain is still expected during the pre-development period of El Niño.

Cinco also said there is a 53% chance the El Niño phenomenon will reach "strong" level towards the latter part of the year.

PAGASA advised the public not just to conserve water but also to observe one's usage of electricity.  —KBK, GMA Integrated News

Tags: El Nino, weather, news