Bantay El Niño

To the Filipino mind, the mention of "El Niño" brings forth images of drought, thirst, dryness, or, for those who have never been really through it, a yet-to-be-defined-discomfort.

El Niño's impact in the Philippines usually comes in the form of reduced rainfall. When rainfall amount falls below normal in three consecutive months, drought occurs, usually creating a domino effect: shortage of water supply which in turn creates food shortages and power shortages in places where electricity relies on hydropower plants. And since the ocean temperature in the Pacific is warmer during an El Niño occurrence, it affects the behavior of typhoons that pass through the Philippines in rather abnormal ways.

The rainfall of the Philippines varies from 965 to 4,064 millimeters annually. Baguio City, eastern Samar, and eastern Surigao receive the greatest amount of rainfall, while the southern portion of Cotabato receives the least amount of rain. At General Santos City in Cotabato, the average annual rainfall is only 978 millimeters. -- PAGASA

Weather specialists from PAGASA say that "the country could still experience the normal number of tropical cyclones this year. However, El Niño causes the behavior of tropical cyclones to become erratic, affecting their tracks and intensity. The tropical cyclone tracks are expected to shift northward and its intensity could become stronger."

Some foreign observers also posit the possibility that this year, 2015, "will beat 2014 as the warmest year this planet has seen since records began in the late 19th century." This conclusion was drawn from recent observations that "the water temperatures have grown warmer, propelled by a reversal of seasonal trade winds and the sloshing of mild ocean waters from west to east across the Pacific."

The last El Niño, 5 years ago, had a major impact: it triggered monsoons in Southeast Asia; droughts in southern Australia, the Philippines and Ecuador; blizzards in the United States; heatwaves in Brazil; and killer floods in Mexico. -- Rappler

This page intends to keep you updated on El Niño-related developments, and on mitigation measures drawn up for the proper guidance in minimizing the expected negative impact of El Niño on provincial water supply.


Click image to enlarge, right click to save, click HERE for other poster

MC 009-15: Mitigation measures to address El
Niño effects on provincial water supply

NOTE to Water Districts:

  • STEP 1: Download your WD El Niño Fact Sheet here or here
  • Save and rename your accomplished fact sheet to indicate the name of your water district (e.g. malaya_ wd_elnino_fact_sheet.xls
  • STEP 2: Send your accomplished fact sheet to this address:

2014 El Niño action plan and mitigation measures (MC 004.14)

Philippine Monthly Rainfall Forecast

RA 9729 : Climate Change Act of 2009

Current El Niño climate event 'among the strongest' - World Meteorological Organization thru BBC News

US National Oceanic and Athmospheric Administration

Drought: Three consecutive months of way below normal rainfall or over 60% reduction from average rainfall

Dry spell: Three consecutive months of below normal rainfall or 21% to 60% reduction from average rainfall

Origin: The term El Niño (referring to the the Christ child) was originally used by Peruvian sailors to denote the warm southward flowing ocean current that occured every year around Christmas time off the west coast of Peru and Ecuador.


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