La Nina prospect wanes but above-normal rainfall still possible

Above-normal rainfall is likely in the country during the December 2016-February 2017 period despite dimming prospects for development of a full-blown rain-driving La Nina phenomenon.

"Such rainfall is possible then mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao," said Ana Liza Solis, Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section OIC from Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The northeast monsoon or 'amihan' will continue affecting Luzon, she also said.

Solis urged the public to prepare accordingly, noting above-normal rainfall can trigger flooding and flash floods.

"People must be ready for those hazards," she said Thursday (Dec. 15) on the side of a forum in Metro Manila.

PAGASA cited above-normal rainfall as an impact of La Nina on the country.

That kind of rainfall is also normal occurrence from December to February particularly in the country's east-lying areas, Solis noted.

She said above-normal rainfall is therefore likely with or without La Nina so people must brace for this possibility.

"We can experience such La Nina-like impact," she said.

PAGASA reported borderline La Nina earlier this year as data at the time showed thresholds for officially declaring this phenomenon weren't reached.

Solis isn't optimistic about La Nina's prospects, noting latest data indicate decreasing chance for La Nina's full-blown development.

"One model indicated only a 51 percent chance for La Nina," she noted.

Several models also even forecast transition from La Nina to neutral condition during 2017's first half, she said.

PAGASA expects two to five tropical cyclones (TCs) to either develop or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility during 2017's first six months.

Slightly cooler-than-average surface temperature is likely over mountainous areas of Luzon during the same months.

Slightly warmer-than-average surface temperature is possible over rest of the country, PAGASA continued.

Weather systems that may affect the country from January to June next year are 'amihan,' TCs, thunderstorms, inter-tropical convergence zone, low-pressure areas, ridge of high-pressure area, tail-end of cold front and easterlies, PAGASA said.

'Amihan' will likely transition to the southwest monsoon or 'habagat' around the May-June period, it added.

Source: Philippines News Agency