FARMERS in Batangas, Cavite and Oriental Mindoro must brace for drought by the end of December, the state weather bureau said Tuesday, noting that the current El Niño phenomenon may intensify further in the coming months and continue until the second quarter of 2024.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) noted the country has only experienced 10 tropical cyclones this year – half of the usual 20 or more that hit the PH in years past.
At least 20 provinces are forecast to experience a dry spell. These are Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Palawan, Misamis Occidental and Sulu.
On the other hand, seven provinces shall experience dry conditions by the end of the year, including Abra, Ilocos Norte, Batanes, Bataan, Zambales, Metro Manila, Occidental Mindoro and Antique.
Drought occurs when there is over 60 percent reduction in average rainfall for three consecutive months, while a dry spell is characterized by below normal rainfall for three consecutive months.
A dry condition is caused by two consecutive months of below normal rainfall.
Pagasa said below normal rainfall is forecast over Northern and Central Luzon and the western section of Southern Luzon while the rest of the country will have near normal rains in December.
There are at least two tropical cyclones that may form inside or enter the Philippine area of responsibility before the year ends, it added.
Most December storms are likely to make landfall in Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Caraga, the weather bureau said.