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MANILA, Philippines – The weather bureau announced on Thursday, October 12, that the southwest monsoon or habagat season is over.
“Recent analyses showed that a significant weakening of the southwest monsoon has been observed over the past few days,” said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in a statement.
“Moreover, the strengthening of the high-pressure system over East Asia has led to a gradual change in the weather patterns,” added PAGASA.
The southwest monsoon, which triggers rain in the western part of the country, usually lasts from June to September. It is characterized by warm, moist winds.
The end of the southwest monsoon season means the country “is now in a gradual transition” to the northeast monsoon or amihan season, which could begin in the coming weeks.
The northeast monsoon typically lasts from October to February or March. It brings cool, dry air to the Philippines, and may also cause rain in the eastern part of the country.
PAGASA reminded the public, however, that the El Niño phenomenon persists.
For now, the current El Niño episode is moderate, but it is expected to become strong later in the year.
“With the ongoing El Niño, there is an increased likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could bring negative impacts such as dry spells and droughts in some areas of the country,” the weather bureau said.
The effects of El Niño are likely to be felt in the fourth quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024. – Rappler.com