La Niña expected to continue through 2021


La Niña further strengthened during the last quarter of this year and shall likely to continue through the early months of the following year, bringing above normal rainfall conditions that could lead to adverse impacts across most areas in the country, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

In an online Climate Outlook Forum on Friday, PAGASA said La Niña reached its peak during November-December-January 2021 season (~95% chance) and is expected to continue through March-April-May 2021 season (~50%). With La Niña, normal to above normal rainfalls and slightly above to above average surface air temperatures were observed in most parts of the country.

Following are the rainfall forecast of PAGASA for January to June next year:
January 2021 – generally above normal rainfall conditions in NCR, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Visayas, and Mindanao, while the rest of the country will likely receive below to near normal rainfall conditions.
February 2021 – mostly near to above normal rainfall conditions over Southern portions of Luzon, Visyas and Mindanao, while the rest of the Luzon will likely experience below to near normal rainfall conditions.
March 2021 – generally near to above normal rainfall conditions over Bicol region and most parts of Visayas and Mindanao, while rest of Luzon will likely to receive below to near normal rainfall conditions.
April 2021 – generally near normal rainfall conditions over most of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, while rest of Luzon will likely receive below normal rainfall.
May 2021 – generally near normal rainfall over most of the country except most of Visayas and MIMAROPA will experience above normal rainfall conditions.
June 2021 – generally near normal rainfall over most parts of the country.

This could lead to potential adverse impacts such as heavy rainfall, floods, and landslides over highly-vulnerable areas. Impacts include flooding in low-lying agricultural lands causing extensive damage to growing crops and increase in pests and diseases; river flooding and dam spillage; prevalence of water-borne diseases in flooded areas; coastal erosion caused by storm swells and storm surges; and damage to infrastructure.

As La Niña continues to loom the country, we must always check warning advisories from PAGASA, local disaster risk reduction and management office and local news bulletins, and cooperate on local measures to help manage its impacts.

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