Tuesday, January 17, 2012

News Update PAGASA: La Niña may cause another cyclone soon

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the La Niña weather phenomenon is set to hit its peak this January and could still threaten the country with a tropical cyclone. The weather agency added that the La Niña is expected to continue through February until sometime in March or May. The months-long La Niña is characterized by colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures, which result in above-normal rainfall in equatorial Pacific countries like the Philippines. According to PAGASA, La Niña weather conditions were behind Sendong, the most destructive Philippine tropical cyclone in 2011 that claimed over 1,000 lives. PAGASA also warned that flash floods and landslides could occur in several affected areas, particularly in Visayas and Mindanao. The rest of the country is expected to have near-normal rainfall conditions, with areas of northern and central Luzon and western Mindanao receiving above-normal amounts. Along with Sendong, weather systems that influenced the country’s climate in December include the Northeast monsoon (also known as the amihan, which affects the eastern portions of the Philippines from October to March, characterized by cloudiness and rainshowers) and the tail end of the cold front. These conditions are likely to affect the country in early 2012 as well. PAGASA will continue to monitor day-to-day weather conditions and large-scale climatic patterns, especially those resulting from the weak to moderate La Niña conditions. It advises the public in hazard-prone areas to remain vigilant about floods and rain-induced landslides and to take precautionary measures against them. — TJD