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The northeast monsoon or amihan remains to be the dominant weather system affecting Luzon. Amihan is expected to bring light rains over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon. Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains, while Visayas and Mindanao will have a generally fair weather aside from the isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.
Due to the presence of amihan, gale warning is up over the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Visayas. Wind force of 52 to 63 kilometers per hour and wave height ranging from 3.4 to 4.5 meters will be experienced in the seaboards of Batanes, Calayan, Babuyan, Cagayan, La Union, Isabela, Pangasinan, Ilocos provinces, Aurora, Camarines provinces, Catanduanes, Aurora, and the eastern coasst of Albay, Sorsogon, Quezon including Polillo Island, Samar and Leyte. Sea travel for fishing boats and other small seacraft is risky.
Despite the prevailing amihan, the country still experienced warm weather yesterday. Laoag City’s temperature reached 34 degrees Celsius. Here are the highest temperatures recorded by PAGASA on March 25, 2015:
Meanwhile, PAGASA is monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). As of now, it is still too far and according to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Meno Mendoza, there is a slim chance for it to enter our boundary until the end of the month. However, all are still advised to monitor updates and further development regarding the weather disturbance.
Dry Spell vs. El Niño
Hundred of hectares of farmlands, and millions worth of damage in crops and fishery products have been observed in different areas of Mindanao, including Zamboanga City and General Santos. PAGASA says this is brought by the “dry spell.” Mendoza explained that dry spell refers to prolonged period of no rainfall for a week or more. It normally occurs in the Philippines, mostly when the temperatures get higher.
On the other hand, El Niño is the unusual warming of the ocean or the increase in the sea surface temperature (SST). PAGASA has initially confirmed a weak El Niño and Mendoza said this can trigger the dry spell that is currently experienced in the country.