FILIPINOS should brace for drier conditions and below-normal rainfall due to the weak El Niño episode over the Pacific Ocean, the weather bureau said Wednesday.
Vicente Malano, officer in charge of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, said the phenomenon will bring about lower rainfall until July but the situation should improve by August.
“It will be drier than the normal dry,” Melano told reporters.
He made his statement even as Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala on Wednesday ordered all his department’s regional offices, bureaus and attached agencies to be prepared for El Niño.
He said he was hoping for a minimal effect on the major crops as the initial reports from the field showed that the harvesting of rice and corn crops started as early as last month.
“Field validation is ongoing and the DA will come up with figures at the soonest possible time,” Alcala said.
Melano said below-normal rainfall will persist this month in most parts of the country, but “some areas will experience the same rainfall amount in April and the large areas in May due to the northeast monsoon.”
“June will expect a better rainfall condition,” Melano said.
“On the other hand, there will be more rain over the western section of the country in July, but near-normal to above-normal rainfall could only be felt in August.”
As early as November 2014, many parts of the country had already been experiencing less than the normal amount of rainfall, Melano said.
Anthony Joseph Lucero, Pagasa’s officer in charge of the Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section, said El Niño may not last longer, but Metro Manila will not be spared from the dry spell.
Still, Maximo Peralta, officer in charge of Pagasa’s Hydrometeorology Division, said Angat Dam would still be capable of supplying 97 percent of Metro Manila’s water needs despite the dry spell.
Lucero said the power supply in the country will hardly be affected by the dry spell. by the impact of the El Niño event, Lucero said.
“We must be happy that the phenomenon came during the dry season and not during the wet season,” Lucero said. With Anna Leah E. Gonzales