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La Niña forming in last quarter, says PAGASA

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There will be a 70 to 80-percent chance that La Niña—a weather system that sees trade winds getting stronger than usual, pushing more warm water toward Asia—will form in the last quarter of 2021, with a higher probability of above-normal rainfall conditions in many areas, the state weather bureau said Wednesday

The bureau’s recent climate monitoring and analysis “indicate that La Niña may emerge in the coming months,” Administrator Vicente Malano of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in a statement.

“Based on the latest forecasts by most climate models and expert judgments, there is a 70-80% chance of La Niña forming in the last quarter of 2021 which may persist until the first quarter of 2022,” the PAGASA chief said.

As suggested by rainfall forecasts, the higher probability of above-normal rainfall conditions in the country are also expected in the next several months, Malano said.

This can be attributed to the expected stronger easterlies, enhanced northeast monsoon and tropical cyclone occurrences, he added.

Malano warned of more adverse impacts of floods and landslides in highly vulnerable areas in the eastern sections of the country, which normally receive more rainfall during the last quarter of the year.

PAGASA also switched its alert system to “La Niña alert” from “La Niña watch.”

According to the bureau, La Niña is characterized by unusually cool ocean surface temperatures in the Central and Eastern Equatorial Pacific.

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