MANILA — Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) sees the entry of 11 to 16 tropical cyclones into the country between June and December this year.
Dr. Vicente Malano, officer-in-charge of PAGASA, said the agency expected one or two tropical cyclones to visit the country before the end of the month, three to five in July, two to four in August and September, two or three in October, one or two in November, and at least one in December.
Because of the prevailing El Niño phenomenon, Malano said PAGASA expected more tropical cyclones to intensify and reach the typhoon category.
He said the abnormal warming of the sea during an El Niño would likely trigger intense tropical cyclones.
Meanwhile, Malano said the southwest monsoon or “hanging amihan” is now the prevailing wind system in the country.
He noted that tropical storm with international name “Kujira” near Vietnam has enhanced the southwest wind flow over the western section of the country that recently brought rains over western parts of Luzon and Visayas.
Malano said that aside from the southwest monsoon, the criteria on the volume of rains in declaring the start of the rainy season has also been met.
He explained that to satisfy the criteria, five weather stations under Type 1 climate, which covers the western parts of Luzon and Visayas, should register a total of 25 millimeters or more rainfall for five consecutive days.
In three out of the five days, rainfall must not be lower than one millimeter per day.
Malano said the rain episodes started last Wednesday and the criteria had been met last Sunday.
Malano said the rainy season, which is associated with the southwest monsoon, was expected to last until September.
However, he noted that monsoon breaks or periods of no rain for a few days or weeks are still expected during the season.
Malano said PAGASA declared the onset of rainy season last year on June 10, which is a little earlier compared to this year.
He said the slight delay on the declaration of wet season this year can be attributed to the El Niño phenomenon, which started last November.
Malano said that in the next three months or from July to September, many parts of the country, especially in the western section, would experience near normal to above normal rainfall.
However, he noted that from October to December, some areas will experience below normal rainfall due to the effects of the El Niño.
The El Niño is projected to strengthen towards the end of the year.
It is also expected to gradually weaken in the early months of next year before eventually ending in May 2016.