DESPITE heavy rains in the past days, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan said the threat of El Niño still remains.

Pagasa Mactan Chief Al Quiblat said that rainy days are the transition from summer to wet season or dry season to rainy season, but this will not stop El Niño, which is expected to hit the country by the end of June or in July.

He said that the International Prediction Center is forecasting 65 percent chance of El Niño because the temperature in the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean has increased at present by .4 degree Celsius.

When the increase will reach .5 degree Celsius, the International Prediction Center will officially declare a phenomenon.

Temperature

El Niño, he said, is the sea surface temperature anomaly or a difference from the average normal sea temperature in the present sea surface temperature.

For example, the normal sea surface temperature within a 30-year period is 26 degree Celsius.

However, in the past months, the International Prediction Center found out that this had increased to 26.4 degrees Celsius in the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean and may further reach 26.5 degrees Celsius by end of June or in July or August.

Quiblat said that if El Niño will start in the third quarter of this year in the Eastern and Central Pacific, it can be felt in the Philippines by the fourth quarter until the first quarter of 2015.

Shortage

Quiblat said there may be shortage or deficiency of rain by October 2014 toward March 2015, such as a reduction of rainfall from 190 millimeters to 100 millimeters, or the rainfall in December 2014 may be from 190 millimeters in normal times to only 20 millimeters.

He said there is no such thing as no rain but less rain or deficiency of rainfall.

On the heavy rains observed while there is a prediction of an El Niño, Quiblat reminded the public that the last El Niño occurred from 2009 to 2010.

But before El Niño was felt in the country at that time, typhoon Ondoy came with heavy rains that flooded Metro Manila. (EOB)