PAGASA Announces End of El Niño, Prepares for Potential La Niña

June 20, 2024


Following months of adverse weather conditions, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared the conclusion of the El Niño phenomenon on June 7. This announcement comes as oceanic and atmospheric indicators in the tropical Pacific Ocean returned to neutral levels, marking an end to intensified heat and dry weather across the nation.

The recent El Niño event inflicted significant damage, particularly in the agro-fisheries sector, amounting to nearly P10 billion. According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), more than 183,000 farmers and fisherfolk were affected by the prolonged drought and heatwave.

Looking ahead, PAGASA has warned of a high probability (approximately 69%) of transitioning to La Niña conditions in the coming months, particularly from August to October. La Niña, akin to El Niño, is a natural climate phenomenon affecting global weather patterns. It is characterized by cooler than usual sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, often resulting in increased rainfall and potential flooding in some regions, contrasting with El Niño’s dry and hot conditions.

The DA has already begun preparations for La Niña, emphasizing the need for heightened coordination among government agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs), and other stakeholders. Historical data from the DA suggest that agricultural damage during La Niña can be more severe than El Niño due to prolonged heavy rains and flooding.

In response to the recurring impacts of El Niño and La Niña, the advocacy group Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-ulad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) has urged the government to expedite assistance to affected communities. MASIPAG criticized delays in relief distribution, noting that many farmers and fisherfolk are still awaiting aid despite the conclusion of El Niño. MASIPAG emphasized the necessity for comprehensive climate change adaptation programs and stressed the importance of climate justice in addressing the annual challenges posed by these weather phenomena./PT



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