IF YOU think it's already hot today, brace for a longer hot season as the US Climate Prediction Center with the International Research Institute for Climate and Society foresee indications that the weak El Nino they have been predicting, but which came later than expected, will be overstaying its welcome way into the end of 2015.
"Compared to last month, more models predict El Niño (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index equal to or greater than 0.5°C) to continue throughout 2015 (Fig. 6). These forecasts are supported by the increase in subsurface temperatures, enhanced convection over the Date Line, and the increased persistence of low-level westerly wind anomalies. However, model forecast skill tends to be lower during the Northern Hemisphere spring, which limits the forecast probabilities of El Niño through the year. At this time, there is also considerable uncertainty as to how strong this event may become. In summary, there is an approximately 70% chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer 2015, and a greater than 60% chance that it will last through autumn," the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (Enso) Diagnostic Discussion issued by the CPC and IRICS last April 9 reads.
What does this mean?
Yes, it might be weak compared to the scorching El Nino in 2010, but the length of the dry spell can throttle the region's agriculture-based economy, and push poor farmers into worse poverty conditions.
This does not include any man-made calamities like forest and grass fires that can eat up hectares upon hectares of farmland, forest stands, and even residences.
It thus pays to always remember that this kind of heat is not normal and that we should all be careful and mindful of our every action. For the smokers, be careful how and where you dispose of your lighted cigarette butts; for adventurers, make sure you get proper clearance and log in appropriate information if you intend to go into the forests anytime soon; for homeowners, to be sure that children will not be playing with any combustible materials and matches, that your electrical wirings in the house are in tip-top condition, that appliances are turned off and electrical outlets are not abused; for the neighborhood to work as one in trimming grasslands to ensure that these do not poser risk of sparking up, but most of all, for everyone to conserve water.
We may not be feeling it yet, except for the residents who have had to suffer 24 to 36 hours of water interruption over the weekend, but the situation can worsen if the dry spell pushes on towards the end of the year and with no rain to replenish our natural water sources.
Now, more than ever, we should give greater value to the potable water that flows out of our faucets. Let us not waste them.