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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Editorial: Don’t be deceived by the rain


RAIN continues to flood Metro Manila and so with other areas, sometimes Davao City. But notice the heat. It’s already October and yet, the heat hits us like summer. It’s there, and it’s reminding us that El Nino remains to be a threat.

The El Nino/Southern Oscillation (Enso) Diagnotic Discussion issued by the Climate Prediction Center of the National Weather Station and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society of the United States has raised the alert level to an “El Nino Watch” as of October 9, 2014.

An El Nino/La Nina Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for the development of either of the two weather conditions within the next six months. The next alert Level is an El Nino/La Nina Advisory, which is issued when either El Nino or La Nina conditions are observed and expected to continue. While Final El Nino or La Nina Advisory is issued after El Nino or La Nina conditions have ended.

In its latest bulletin, the diagnostic discussion predicts El Nino to begin in the next one or two months and can last well into the Northern Hemisphere Spring of 2015, which is around middle March.

But conditions show this will not be the major one that was earlier warned of this year.

“Most models predict El Niño to develop during October-December 2014 and to continue into early 2015. The consensus of forecasters indicates a 2-in-3 chance of El Niño during the November 2014 - January 2015 season. This El Niño will likely remain weak throughout its duration,” the report said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa), however warns that the damage by the unusual weather will not be in the drying up of lands, as El Nino is expected to bring hotter than normal weather in the Philippines. Given that, the typhoon tracks may mostly be headed northward. Hot air tends to rise, that is, and the growing heat will not stop the typhoons from coming during the typhoon season until early next year.

“The country could still experience normal number of tropical cyclone this year. However, El Niño causes the behavior of tropical cyclones to become erratic, affecting its tracks and intensity. The tropical cyclone tracks are expected to shift northward and its intensity could become stronger,” Pagasa said.

Truly, there are weird weather ahead and we just have to urge the agricultural and fishery sectors to keep track of developments so as to ensure continued harvest and lessen losses due to wrong decisions done on the field. There is also the bush, forest, and grass fires to prevent. Don’t let a single cigarette thrown without care or an ember left unattended raze down your fields, our forests, and the neighborhood.

Don’t let the rainfall fool you into complacency. In this era of changing climate, we just have to always be monitoring the weather especially if we are working with its seasons.

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