PAGASA sees transition to El Niño in next three months

Between 10 to 14 tropical cyclones are expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) from May to October 2023, even as PAGASA said the warm weather phenomenon called El Niño could begin within the next three months.

In its latest Climate Outlook for the period, the weather agency said a transition from ENSO-neutral to El Niño is favored during May-June-July 2023 season, with the chance of El Niño increasing towards the first quarter of 2024.

The last time the phenomenon occurred was in 2018-2019 when a weak episode was observed.

PAGASA Virac chief meteorological officer Juan Pantino Jr. said that while there are less storms during an El Niño, they are usually more powerful.

The outlook also forecast near normal rainfall for Catanduanes this May to July as well as September, but there will be less precipitation for August and October, when rainfall is expected to fall to 74.4% and 67.5% below normal.

On the other hand, the agency sees an increase in the number of dry days in four of the next six months: May (19), June (17), July (14), August (16), September (16) and October (16).

A dry day is defined as a day with less than 1 mm of rainfall as observed.

Near normal temperatures are also seen for the period, except for September where there could be a rise in monthly mean temperature by 0.51 to 1 degree Celsius.

PAGASA sees 1 or 2 cyclones each this May and June, 2 to 4 in July, and 2 to 3 each in August, September and October.

The rainy season for areas over the western section of the country is expected between the 2nd half of May to the 1st half of June due to the start of the Southwest monsoon or habagat.

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