Monday, April 18, 2011

Stronger typhoons, prolonged rains in Philippines' yearly forecast

Manila Bulletin (Phillipines): Just like in 2010, the country this year is again expected to bear the brunt of climate change with unusually wet rainy season and stronger typhoons or tropical cyclones brought about by the La Niña phenomenon. This was the warning aired by Undersecretary Graciano Yumul Jr. of the Department of Science and Technology during the 171st general assembly of the Foundation for Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE) recently at the Pearl of the Orient Tower on Roxas Blvd.,

Yumul, also supervising undersecretary of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Administration Services (PAGASA), indicated that Philippine development is again imperiled with La Niña this year.

…An example of the peculiar weather pattern will be the rains in what is supposed to be the dry months of April and May. “It will be a wet summer,” he said, hinting that people should bring umbrellas even during this vacation period. According to Yumul, while Filipinos were able to heave a sigh of relief last year because of the small number of typhoons – again the result of climate change -- this year will be different.

“There will be more tropical cyclones this year compared to 2010,” he said. Around 11 typhoons entered the country’s area of responsibility last year, with only two making a landfall. The small number of typhoons last year was also unusual as normally 20 tropical cyclones visit the country every year. There was also no southwest monsoon (habagat) in 2010.

Yumul said what is worrisome is that the typhoons this year will be stronger than last year’s. He, however, did not give any indication on the strength of the typhoons that will make landfall this year…

Satellite view of the Philippines, from NASA

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