Solidum: 'Habagat' to persist till Q3, El Niño to be felt in Q4

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

August 10, 2023, 7:25 pm

<p>Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. <em>(File photo</em>) </p>

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum, Jr. (File photo

MANILA – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. on Thursday said the "habagat" or southwest monsoon, which causes rains, will persist through the third quarter, while the effects of El Niño will be felt in the fourth quarter.

In a column published in a national newspaper on Aug. 9, it mentioned that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. "virtually questioned the reliability of PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) weather predictions amid the climate change phenomenon," referring to the President's recent meeting with some government officials in Malolos City, Bulacan province.

"PAGASA stated the El Niño will be felt by the fourth quarter, (and) not now. They also said rains will be brought by the southwest monsoon," Solidum said.

He noted that PAGASA had announced the southwest monsoon was enhanced with the passage of the tropical cyclones Egay and Falcon.

In a briefing last July 4, PAGASA Climate Monitoring chief Ana Liza Solis indeed said the country is experiencing weak El Niño, and that there is a high probability that this weather phenomenon may become moderate and strong during the last quarter of 2023.

On the same day, PAGASA said the country is yet to feel the full effects of the El Niño, and also announced that the enhanced southwest monsoon may result in above normal rainfall over the western section of the country.

"There are various weather systems prevailing over the Philippines, and not (just) one. El Niño is happening in the Pacific and the easterly winds in the Pacific is essentially weakened and the moisture that it brings is dumped in some parts of the Pacific and does not reach the Philippines. The winds from the Pacific that eventually reaches the Philippines is dry and warm," Solidum said.

He reiterated that the habagat will likely persist until the end of the third quarter.

"With the passage of the tropical cyclones north of the Philippines, the southwest monsoon is enhanced as it is being pulled by these tropical cyclones. That is why heavy rains were forecast when Egay and Falcon passed," Solidum said. (PNA)