The La Niña weather episode is now over, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, but it stopped short of declaring the start of the summer season.
In an advisory, the weather bureau declared the end of the La Niña phenomenon or the cold phase of a climate cycle.
Most climate models predict a neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)—neither El Niño (hot or dry phase) nor La Niña—will be “favored from March through June” with an increased likelihood of a transition to El Niño or a warm phase afterward, PAGASA said.
“Although La Niña has already ended, its lag effect may still influence the probability of above-normal rainfall conditions in the coming months, potentially leading to adverse impacts in some highly vulnerable areas,” it said.
“El Niño, on the other hand, increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions, which could have negative effects (such as dry spells and droughts) in some areas of the country,” PAGASA added.
El Niño and La Niña are the extreme phases of the ENSO cycle; between these two phases is a third phase called ENSO-neutral.
Based on the weather outlook this month, the agency reported the northeast monsoon or “hanging amihan” would weaken, while the easterlies will become predominant.
Most parts of the country will likely experience near to above-normal rainfall conditions, except for some provinces over the western section of Northern Luzon and the northern part of Palawan that may receive below-normal to way below-normal rainfall, the bureau added.