THE predicted La Niña predictions are expected to strengthen towards the end of the year through the first quarter of 2011, as indicated by almost all models used to predict the climate anomaly.

There is a disagreement, however, on its strength.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

"Most dynamical models generally predict a moderate-to-strong La Niña, while the majority of the statistical model forecasts indicate a weaker episode," according to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (Enso) Diagnostic Discussion from the Climate Prediction Center of the US National Weather Service dated August 5.

Still, the report would rather predict a moderate-to-strong La Nina after considering "strong cooling observed over the last several months."

Given such condition, there will be more than normal rainfall in Indonesia and surrounding areas, and a little bit less rain in central tropical Pacific Ocean between August and October.

Temperature and precipitation impacts will not be felt much in the United States from this month till around November, but is expected to strengthen toward the start of the year till first quarter.

The La Niña condition can also increase hurricane activity in the Atlantic area.

With more than normal rainfall in the Philippines, floods and landslides will be expected as a result.

Incidentally, there is yet no La Niña advisory posted on the official website of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa), although the onset of a La Niña condition has already been announced by local weather forecasters.

What is available online in the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration website is the final advisory on El Niño, which ended last June.

Enso is marked by the warming or cooling beyond normal fluctuations of the surface of tropical eastern Pacific Ocean.

El Niño is when there is an increase in surface temperature specifically over the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, and Australia. While La Nina is when there is a cooling.

La Niña causes heavy rains in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia and also increases the number of typhoons that will hit China.

La Niña conditions, however, causes droughts in the coastal regions of Peru and Chile and more than normal rainfall in northern Brazil. (Stella A. Estremera)