By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
It is not yet the rainy season, despite the almost daily rains in the country.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather forecaster Lanie Bitagun said sudden heavy rains and thunderstorms, mostly in the afternoon or evening, are usually frequent during this time of the year, as warm weather in the daytime makes evaporation and condensation processes faster during summer.
“Thunderstorms are more frequent in May, based on the PAGASA’s historical data,” Bitagun said.
“When the weather is too hot, warm and moist air rapidly moves upward, condenses and forms cumulonimbus or thunder clouds,” she explained.
Late afternoon or early evening rains, accompanied by winds and thunderstorms, were experienced in the past few days. and these occurrences usually lasted less than an hour to about three hours.
El Niño effect weakening
While it is still summer or dry season, rains will become more frequent as the country nears the onset of rainy season in late May or early June.
Should the effect of El Niño over the country weakens, Bitagun said the event will not cause a delay in the normal start of rainy season this year.
Rainy season last year officially began on June 8.
The current El Niño, related to the warming in sea surface temperatures across the Pacific, is seen to prevail until the June-August period, but Bitagun said there were signs that its effect over the Philippines was gradually weakening.
PAGASA earlier projected that fewer provinces may experience prolonged dry conditions this month.
Meanwhile, warm days may still persist, as PAGASA forecasts near average to slightly warmer than average temperatures, especially during nighttime.
PAGASA tracks two new LPA
As of Monday, PAGASA is monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) about 1,265 kilometers east of Mindanao.
Bitagun said the LPA, so far, has a minimal chance of developing into a tropical cyclone.
It also has no direct effect yet over any part of the region.
The second LPA was estimated 145 km north of Laoag City. This weather disturbance could bring scattered rain showers over Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON.
The rest of the country may experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.
Based on PAGASA’s historical record, one or two tropical cyclones usually enter or make landfall over the country in May.