El Niño will still have a lingering effect with the onset of La Niña –PAGASA

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A climate specialist on Saturday warned that El Niño might still persist with the onset of the La Niña.

El Niño is a phenomenon of a long drought or dry spell while the La Niña is the opposite weather condition, which means more rains are coming ahead.

Joseph Basconcillo, a climate specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said El Niño was on the decline as normal weather conditions might be experienced during the May-June-July season.

“El Niño is in decaying stage,” Basconcillo said, summing up the global advisory from the International Research Institute (IRI) at Columbia University, USA, Bureau of Meteorology in Australia, the Tokoyo Climate Center in Japan, and the APEC Climate Center based in South Korea.

“With this current state, La Niña Watch is now in effect. A La Niña event is characterized by a persistent cooler than average sea surface temperature anomalies (below -0.5 degrees Celsius) over the tropical Pacific,” he said.

Basconcillo said PAGASA predicted that there would be more rains from the month of May up to July as local thunderstorms, inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ), lower pressure areas (LPAs), tropical cyclones, and other factors would be coming in.

PAGASA also expected tropical cyclones, ITCZ and LPAs in the August-September season, he said.

In spite of the prospect of heavy rains in the later part of the year, Basconcillo said, the traces of El Niño would still be felt in the next few months from now.

“El Niño will still have a lingering effect,” he told reporters and government and nongovernment representatives during the a forum on El Niño and La Niña at the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) board room Friday afternoon. Jigger Jerusalem/PNA/northboundasia.com