PAGASA may declare start of El Niño next week

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 22) — Filipinos should prepare for El Niño as the state weather bureau said Thursday it may declare the start of the phenomenon next week.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised the El Niño Alert status last month as it expects the phenomenon to emerge in the following months starting June.

The El Niño Alert status is raised when present conditions show that the development of the phenomenon in the next two months has a probability of 70% or more.

Possible po na sa ating climate forum maybe around next week, or the last Wednesday of the month, possible po na mag-declare na rin tayo ng El Niño,” PAGASA weather forecaster Patrick del Mundo told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: It's possible that during our climate forum, maybe around next week or the last Wednesday of the month, it is possible that we declare the start of El Niño.]

El Niño refers to the warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. It may cause below-normal rainfall conditions, which could negatively affect some parts of the Philippines, PAGASA said.

Dry spells and droughts may be experienced in the country, the bureau added.

Del Mundo said one of the parameters in declaring the onset of El Niño is the sea surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean.

As of May, he noted, the temperature was still negative.

Once El Niño hits, Del Mundo said the southern and eastern parts of the country will experience dry condition.

The phenomenon will also cause stronger rains, specifically over the west part of the country, he added.