BASED on patterns in the last five years, the weather bureau expects 2014 to be an “inactive” year with fewer typhoons than in recent years, especially since El Niño is likely to happen.

Pagasa Mactan Chief Alfredo Quiblat said that active years are those with 18 to 20 typhoons, while inactive ones experience fewer than 18 typhoons.

Pagasa stands for the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

Quiblat pointed out that 2009 was considered active with 21 typhoons, 2010 was inactive with 10 typhoons, 2011 wasactive with 19 typhoons,

2012 was inactive with 17 typhoons and 2013 was active, with 25 typhoons, including the powerful typhoon Yolanda.

From January to date, Quiblat said, only four weak typhoons have passed by the country and it is unlikely that a weather disturbance will hit the country toward the end of April.

“Kon duna may bagyo sa di pa matapos ang buwan sa Abril, bonus na na (If a typhoon does hit the country before April ends, that would go over our expectations),” Quiblat said.

Pagasa, he said, expects one to two typhoons in May, two to three typhoons in June and two to three typhoons in July.

July is also considered the peak month for typhoons.

“From November to December every year, 60 percent of the typhoons that will pass by the Philippines will hit the Visayas area. Some of these typhoons in November and December are strong ones, such as the Yolanda, Sendong and Pablo,” Quiblat said.

Quiblat said the international weather forecast showed that a mild El Niño is likely to start in June or July and originate in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. This dry spell may be felt in the Philippines

by October, November or December 2014.

He said rains are still possible during El Niño but the highest rainfall of 120 millimeters, especially in September and October, may not occur this year.

“What’s significant about El Niño is that there will be fewer typhoons and if typhoons do come, these will be weaker and not strong ones like Yolanda was,” Quiblat said.

For those who are constructing or planning to construct buildings or houses, Quiblat advised them to make these strong enough to withstand typhoons whose winds are 275 kilometers per hour or stronger.

“They may consult the Office of the Building Official in their locality so they may know about the properly engineered structures these offices are promoting. Build a strong house to save money,” Quiblat said.

Yolanda destroyed or damaged around one million houses when it struck last November 8, 2013, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has reported.

Around four million persons were driven from their homes. (EOB)