By NITZ ARANCON
THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) yesterday warned of warmer and drier days ahead because of the El Niño phenomenon.
The heat would be most felt during the summer months especially in Mindanao.
Luz Mercado, a weather specialist at the Pagasa-Mindanao station in El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental, said the state weather bureau has already started the “El Niño Watch” and cautioned farmers about the anticipated dry spell.
Based on data gathered by Pagasa, the rainfall volume in the country significantly dropped to 41 millimeters from July to December 2018. Pagasa said the normal rainfall volume for that period should have been113.2 mm.
Mercado said weather forecasters are expecting warmer days from March to May because the El Niño would aggravate the dry weather conditions.
“Mosamot gyud nga walay ulan alang mga bulana dinhi sa ato kay kanang bulan sa March, April and May, ma-o man na ang atong dry season plus na-a pay El Niño. So, init gyud kaayo nang panahona,” Mercado said.
She said a dry spell is already adversely affecting Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, and other Mindanao areas.
Mercado said the dry spell is also being felt now even in southwestern parts of Misamis Oriental, including the hinterlands of Initao, Manticao, Naawan and Lugait towns.
Mercado advised farmers to plant what can withstand the heat during the dry months.
“Kon magtanom ang atong mga farmers, kanang mga tanom nga mosukol ug init,” she said.
Mercado however said the El Niño phenomenon does not mean there would be no rain.
“Na-y gihapoy ulan pero mas ubos ang ihap sa ulan gikan sa normal count of rainfall kada bulan basta na-ay El Niño,” she explained.