Sunday, May 15, 2016
An article from al jazeera.com predicts that the periodical variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean known as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is oscillating back to the relatively cooler phase, La Niña and should bring more rain during the Indian Monsoon season and more rain over Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and northern Australia.
That seemed to me to be good news, until I came across two separate stories concerning forecasts from The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) which says that Philippines can still look forward to above average temperatures and below average rainfall for a few more months.
For May and June 2016, PAGASA forecasts below-normal rainfall in Luzon and the Visayas but expects Mindanao to experience near-normal rainfall then. The Visayas, where we live, can expect near-normal rainfall in July, August, September and October.
In an article in the Manila Times, Pagasa is said to be warning that the possibility of the country experiencing La Niña is rising, which could favor the formation of tropical cyclones over the western Pacific, thus increasing the number of typhoons. La Niña is characterized by above normal rainfall and strong monsoon activity.
Yet another article, this one from tempo.com, has PAGASA saying, that "from the drought of the past few months, we must now prepare for storms and rains".
So, which is it? Below average rainfall or an increase in the number of typhoons? Is there any wonder that some folks are skeptical that scientists can make heads or tails out of our ever changing climate?