PAGASA: Drought hits Nueva Ecija, Cavite; 15 provinces may experience drought by January
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has announced that Nueva Ecija and Cavite are currently experiencing drought as a result of the ongoing strong El Niño event. The announcement was made during PAGASA’s monthly climate forum on Wednesday, December 20, by Ana Liza Solis, the chief of PAGASA’s Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section.
According to PAGASA, meteorological drought is already being experienced in certain areas of Nueva Ecija and Cavite, and the condition is expected to persist in other parts of Luzon in January. The agency defines drought as a prolonged dry condition characterized by below-normal rainfall for five consecutive months or way below-normal rainfall for three consecutive months.
By the end of January 2024, PAGASA predicts that 15 provinces may be affected by drought, including Benguet, Kalinga, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Cavite, Zambales, Pampanga, and Palawan. Additionally, 11 provinces may experience a dry spell, while nine areas may have a dry condition.
PAGASA has also warned that the El Niño phenomenon is expected to persist until 2024, with its peak likely to occur in March or April. Western parts of Luzon are expected to experience below-normal rainfall first, with the effects likely to spread to other parts of the country in the coming months.