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MANILA, Philippines – The state weather bureau upgraded its warning status from El Niño Watch to El Niño Alert on Tuesday, May 2.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) now sees an 80% probability of El Niño emerging in the June-July-August period.
The weather phenomenon may persist until the first quarter of 2024.
“When conditions are favorable for the development of El Niño within the next two months at a probability of 70% or more, an El Niño Alert is issued,” PAGASA explained.
El Niño Watch had been issued last March 23. Under the system, it is issued when El Niño is expected to happen within six months, at a probability of 55% or more. At the time, PAGASA was expecting El Niño to emerge in the July-August-September period.
The state weather bureau warned on Tuesday that El Niño “increases the likelihood of below normal rainfall conditions,” which could trigger dry spells and droughts in parts of the country.
Water supply may be affected, which would hurt not just households and businesses but also agricultural production.
“All concerned government agencies and the general public are encouraged to keep on monitoring and take precautionary measures against the impending impacts of El Niño,” PAGASA said.
After El Niño Alert, the next status is El Niño Advisory, which is issued when the weather phenomenon is already ongoing.
El Niño occurs every two to seven years. The last El Niño occurred from the last quarter of 2018 to the third quarter of 2019. – Rappler.com