EL NINO WEAKENS. Pangasinenses still flock the beaches to ease the heat brought on by the dry spell. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in Dagupan City said dry spell will continue until June this year. (Photo by HIlda Austria) 

DAGUPAN CITY -- The El Niño phenomenon, which caused severely high and humid weather in the country, continues to weaken but the rainy season is not yet on sight, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Jose Estrada Jr., PAGASA’s chief meteorological officer here, said the rains experienced in the province these past few days were the effects of thunderstorms.

“Despite the southwest monsoon, commonly known as ‘Habagat’, has begun to kick in, the localized thunderstorms are still the culprit behind the rains we experience,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

Estrada clarified that the emergence of ‘habagat’ is not the only defining sign of the entry of the wet season.

“There are factors that the agency (PAGASA) needs to consider before declaring the onset of the wet season. We have the amount of rainfall that should generate at least 25 millimeters for five consecutive days, and the prevalence of the southwest monsoon,” he explained.

The monsoon is still weak plus the existence of the El Niño phenomenon reduces rainfall, he added.

PAGASA said Dagupan City has reached 1.1 millimeters of rainfall in the past three days.

“El Niño is expected to persist until late June,” he said. “Despite El Niño weakening, hot weather is still to be expected,” he added. (PNA)