THIS mild El Niño came so late and too tame as compared to the forecast that preceded it. But do not belittle it yet because while indeed it came later than predicted and much milder than feared. It seems to intend to linger. So, do not let those heavy rainfalls fool you because the Niño is acting more petulant than before.
In the latest El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion issued by the US Climate Prediction Center/NCEP/NWS and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society for June 11, says: "There is a greater than 90 percent chance that El Niño will continue through Northern Hemisphere Fall 2015, and around an 85 percent chance it will last through the 2015-16 winter."
Northern Hemisphere Fall starts September while winter starts December.
In short, El Niño conditions will linger on, maybe until next year, and who knows when.
We know what that means to our impoverished farmers. While the Department of Agriculture has been upbeat that with the rainfall being experienced, the rainy season has started and farmers can plant anew; the weather forecasters are saying, maybe not yet.
But with one cropping season already wasted, there is very little the farmers can hold on to with the threat of yet another cropping season to be lost.
Worse, weather indicators tend to point toward a strengthening El Niño.
In this time of greater unpredictability to the weather, there is the need to bring greater understanding and knowledge to the farmers. It is no longer enough to just look at the sun and count the days of rain before planting.
In this time of weird weather, even the rain does not necessarily mean a god planting season as it may just bring floodwaters and landslides.
Periods of El Niño too just might decide to prolong their stay, and while we are all hot and dry, a super typhoon just might come a-visiting, as the high sea surface temperature act provide a freeway toward our typhoon-battered country.
There is indeed more to farming now than just planting. Farmers are in greater need of technologies that will teach them how to best ensure a harvest amid a weather system that has become more baffling than ever.
In this time and age, we cannot claim to be a booming agricultural region if our farmers do not even understand what smart agriculture is. What we have now are just a huge sector of impoverished planters and a whole industry that grows for export. In between, we have hunger.