La Niña to last until February 2017

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - C. Riñen) (Fayette

CEBU - The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has urged the public to prepare for the onslaught of La Niña which is expected to occur starting this October and will extend until February next year.

“There is 75 percent chance of La Niña to happen and that most often, it happens after a strong El Niño,” said PAGASA Visayas Director Oscar Tabada.

La Niña is characterized by unusually cold surface temperatures of the ocean and is associated with abnormal heavy rainfall, temperature and tropical cyclones.

Tabada said La Niña’s strength can be visibly felt by November, December and January as the country expects 14 to 15 tropical cyclones before the year ends.

With La Niña, there will be more cyclones, stronger typhoons and severe flooding, he said, adding, its effects are more disastrous than El Niño.

“Visayas and Mindanao will be more affected by La Niña compared to Luzon,” Tabada said, citing the prevalence of "habagat" or southwest monsoon which brings frequent heavy rainfall.

Tabada specifically warned Cebuanos to be vigilant as the province was ravaged in the past by typhoons. He said the country will continue to experience El Niño and La Niña even up to 2080 while Central Visayas is at high risk.

He said there are 13 Doppler radars in Cebu to help provide PAGASA accurate weather forecast. He said two radars are now being set up and four more have been purchased of which Bohol is one of the recipients.

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