IN A sense, the Philippines is still blessed with our weather, despite the El Niño that has been plaguing the country.
Elsewhere in the world, a winter storm dumped record-breaking amounts of snow in Arizona and forced the closure of roads, schools and government offices across America’s southwest.
Snow in Arizona? Last month, a storm dumped nearly 0.9 meter of snow at the Flagstaff airport during the city’s snowiest day on record, and more than 0.6 meter in Payson, a town that logs that much snow as its yearly average.
The American National Weather Service characterized as “not your average” storm.
Meanwhile, the Land Down Under saw an increase in the severity and frequency of extreme weather conditions across Australia last year, which has become “a new norm driven by climate change.”
Temperatures nudged 50° C, bush fires ravaged rainforests, and people experienced an increased risk of cardiac arrest because of heatwaves.
And near the equator where the Philippines is located? Or Negros Occidental, for that matter?
Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Emmanuel Piñol promised to allocate funds for cloudseeding in Negros Occidental, which is expected to experience a long dry spell.
El Niño is expected to wane toward the end of April or May in other parts of the country, but the forecast is not good for Negros.
The dry spell in Negros Occidental, Mindoro and Palawan will linger until late November. Piñol warned that “Negros will really have to prepare.”
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. requested the DA for El Niño mitigation measures such as cloudseeding to induce rain.
It’s not just the heat. The province has to be ready to plant when the local government gets ready for cloudseeding.
This is 2019.