Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another 'Ondoy' unlikely

Ellalyn B. De Vera in the Manila Bulletin (Philippines): A repeat of the devastation brought about by tropical storm “Ondoy” a year ago this Sunday is most unlikely to happen, despite the onset of rain-inducing La Niña, an official of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Saturday.

Dr. Susan Espinueva, chief of the PAGASA's Hydrometeorology Division, said there is “a minimal possibility” of another “Ondoy” occurring in Metro Manila, because the onset of northeast monsoon or “hangingamihan” is expected to begin in a few weeks from now or as early as October. The northeast monsoon is the period when cold wind moves from Siberia and felt in the Philippines, which is also characterized by a generally drier condition from November to February.

“When ‘Ondoy’ struck the country, the storm was enhanced by the southwest monsoon (hanging habagat) and modified by the topography, that’s why the effect was intense. Those were the ingredients to massive rains,” Espinueva explained in an interview.

“However, today, we don’t have the southwest monsoon as the northeast monsoon, which is generally drier, is setting in the country. The southwest monsoon usually has a tail that enhances a storm, but the northeast monsoon only affects the path of the storm,” she said.

…“During La Niña conditions, major parts of the country experience near normal to above normal rainfall conditions, particularly over the eastern sections of the country. La Niña conditions also favor tropical cyclone formation over the western Pacific, which tend to increase the number of tropical cyclones,” PAGASA said….

People of Los Baños in the Laguna de Bay area, south of Manila, were affected in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana. Part of the image collection of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)], Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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