PAGASA: PHL summer not yet officially on

MANILA — The dry season commonly known in the Philippines as ‘summer’ ha not yet officially commenced this year but will likely start soon.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) clarified the matter, noting meteorological conditions at present still don’t warrant declaring the start of the dry season.

“Latest data indicate the annual northeast monsoon or ‘amihan’ hasn’t yet even terminated,” PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja said after some reports cited the agency as having already declared this Wednesday (April 5) start of summer in the country.

Citing PAGASA’s 24-hour forecast released Thursday (April 6), he said weak ‘amihan’ is affecting northern and central Luzon.

‘Amihan’ will likely continue weakening until this weather system terminates, he said.

Termination of ‘amihan,’ dominance of the easterlies andestablishment of North Pacific High near the Philippines will signify start of summer in the country, Estareja said.

He noted such conditions will likely occur this weekend, kicking off summer.

“Parameters we’re monitoring indicate high possibility for such conditions to occur then,” he said.

In its April 5, 2017 press release, PAGASA also said latest weather map analyses and numerical model outputs indicate establishment of North Pacific High Pressure Area during this weekend.

“Day-to-day weather will gradually become warmer and drier in the coming weeks partly due to dominance of the extended ridge of North Pacific High Pressure Area and easterlies,” PAGASA said further.

According to PAGASA, ‘amihan’ normally terminates around March’s second half.

‘Amihan’ affected most parts of the country throughout this March and North Pacific High’s establishment was delayed, however, noted PAGASA weather forecaster Vic Manalo.

Temperatures PAGASA recorded in some parts of the country were near-normal, he also said.

“With these, termination of ‘amihan’ is delayed,” he said.

He noted available data show early termination of ‘amihan’ occurred on Feb. 25, 2009.

The data also show late termination of ‘amihan’ happened on April 12, 2011, he continued.

Even if summer sets in already, PAGASA still expects isolated rain showers and thunderstorms to occur due to localized convection.

“Such conditions are likely in the country’s eastern sections,” noted Estareja.

PAGASA further expects Mindanao to experience scattered rain showers and thunderstorms due to passage of easterly waves or inter-tropical convergence zone’s northward migration.

“Mindanao’s southern areas may be affected,” Estareja said.

Despite summer’s onset, PAGASA still forecasts moderate to occasionally rough coastal waters particularly over eastern sections of Luzon and the Visayas.

Expected moderate to strong easterly winds will cause such sea turbulence, PAGASA added. Catherine Teves/