Philippines: EL NIÑO ADVISORY No. 1

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The unusual warming of sea surface temperatures along the equatorial Pacific that was established in June 2009 has further developed into a weak El Niño. Since early May, weaker than average low level equatorial easterly winds have persisted across most of the equatorial Pacific. These oceanic and atmospheric anomalies are consistent with developing El Niño conditions in the tropical Pacific.

The weather systems that affected the country during the month of August were the southwest (SW) monsoon, the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), the ridge of high pressure area and the passage of one (1)Tropical Cyclone (TC) in the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), "T.Y. Kiko" (Aug 3-9). This tropical cyclone enhanced the southwest monsoon, causing heavy rains, flash flood and landslides over most areas of Central and Western Luzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), including some areas in Western Visayas. In spite of this short duration maximum rainfall intensity brought by the enhanced SW monsoon and caused mishaps and damage to the above areas, general rainfall assessment for the month was unusually below normal. This may be attributed to the below average frequency of tropical cyclone during the period where only one TC occurred, compared to the average of three, an early manifestation of El Niño impact .