It's the rainy season: Pagasa

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014


THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) officially declared the start of the rainy season yesterday.

Speaking before the 1st Regional Information Summit of Public Information Officers, Engr. Oscar Tabada, chief meteorologist of the Pagasa Visayas Field Office, said the rainy season is normally declared as early as the third or last week of May.

This year it was delayed because of the threat of the coming El Niño phenomenon.

Basis

“There’s no such thing as summer or winter in the Philippines. It’s either dry or wet season,” Tabada said.

In a normal year, the average rainfall in May is 95 millimeters, he said. Last month, though, only 63 millimeters of rain fell.

“One millimeter is equivalent to 5,000 barrels or drum of rainwater per one square kilometer,” Tabada said.

The basis for the declaration of rainy season is the occurrence of a tropical cyclone and the shift of the wind direction to northwest monsoon or habagat, Tabada said.

He said El Niño, which will originate in Chile, will start at the end of June.

“Once the El Niño starts in Chile, the cold sea surface will become hot and fishes will stay away. Hence, if the fish called ‘tuloy’ will become abundant in the market and in cheap price, they come from the countries with hot sea surface,” Tabada said.

In their monthly rainfall forecast, rains this month will be below normal. However, there will be more rain in July and that will be the time people can save water for the dry period, he said.

Translating terms

“There will be less rain in August and normal rainfall in September. However, the effects of El Niño will be felt in October,” Tabada said.

The weather official also said it’s high time weather forecast is delivered in the local language.

He said some people don’t understand what is meant by northeast monsoon, which means “amihan (amihanan ug silangan),” by tail end of the cold front or by inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

In jest, Tabada said translating “tail end of the cold front” into Cebuano may appear vulgar because it means “ikog sa tumoy sa mabugnawng atubangan.”

On the other hand, Tabada said ITCZ is what old-timers refer to as “ulan nga inday-inday, walo-walo ug siyam-siyam.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 11, 2014.

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