PAGASA declares official end of El Niño in the country

PAGASA declares official end of El Niño in the country

THE impact of El Niño has significantly weakened in recent weeks.

The “weak El Niño” was first identified in May and its effects have continued to diminish until the current month.

As a result, the DOST-PAGASA released its final advisory on El Niño on June 7, declaring the end of the El Niño phenomenon in the country.

“These are based on the indicators or monitoring conducted by DOST-PAGASA, particularly regarding the warming and cooling of sea temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. Currently, we are in an ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) neutral condition. This means that the sea temperature is not as hot as usual. So, it’s back to average or normal now,” according to Ana Liza Solis, Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section Chief, DOST-PAGASA.

Ana Liza Solis, the Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section Chief of DOST-PAGASA, however, mentioned that some areas in the country still experience high temperatures or elevated heat index.

“But if we compare it to the previous days or weeks, the areas with high heat index are decreasing. So, the areas with high temperatures are still fluctuating around 41, 42, 43 degrees Celsius,” Solis added.

DA prepares for possible impacts of looming La Niña on agri sector

Concurrently, the government is also preparing for the anticipated impact of La Niña in various sectors.

Based on the weather bureau’s advisory, there is a 69% chance of La Niña being declared by July-August-September.

It is worth noting that PAGASA also recently declared the official start of the rainy season in the country.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture shared their latest data regarding the impact of El Niño, where damages amounting to P9.6 billion were recorded in the agriculture sector, with most of it affecting rice fields.

And now that the El Niño has completely ended and the rainy season has begun, according to DA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa, areas previously lacking water have now positive signs for crop growth.

“We’ve already had rain, and we’re sure that planting is happening for some because it’s just the right time. This is the time for land preparation until June-July for our harvest to take place from August, September to October this year for the wet season planting,” said Asec. Arnel de Mesa, Spokesperson, DA.

However, according to De Mesa, the DA is also preparing for the potential impact of La Niña as it brings water-related problems,  but in excess of water, an opposite of El Niño effects.

Therefore, the official stressed the need to improve water management interventions, including main and lateral canals in irrigation systems.

“That’s dual purpose, it’s a conduit for water to irrigate our land, and when there’s excess water, it also serves as a drainage system. So, we need to ensure that these systems are functioning properly so that when La Niña comes, we can ensure that excess water is drained out,” De Mesa added.

Moreover, he said water impounding projects are ongoing to capture excess rainwater for use when needed.

DOST-PAGASA has stated that the country is under La Niña watch and have not yet entered the formal La Niña phase.

Despite this, early preparation is still preferable.

“But this is our expected early preparation, not only by the entire government but by all of our citizens because we need to work together, help each other, at least lessen the impact if La Niña arrives, as well as this rainy season. So, let’s always be careful,” Solis added.


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