MANILA — Authorities are warning the Philippines to ready for an active tropical cyclone season in the months ahead, layering yet more climate challenges on a country already dealing with severe drought.
According to forecasts from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Administration, at least two but potentially four strong storms could make landfall before the year ends. Most would bring destructive winds or heavy rains when crossing populated regions.
The agency’s assistant weather chief, Analiza Solis, delivered the alert this week, saying a transition to northeast monsoon season was also imminent. That would parch eastern areas with cooler, drier conditions, worsening an emerging drought situation, officials fear.
By March 2024, around 45 provinces across the central Visayas and southern Mindanao regions could see rainfall levels slashed by 60%, putting livelihoods at risk. The drought effects are projected to gradually intensify under the influence of an El Niño climate pattern.
The outlook deals a double blow, threatening both lives and livelihoods in the disaster-prone archipelago still recovering from past climate calamities. It underscores Manila’s struggles combating environmental perils exacerbated by global warming, from more intense storms to creeping desertification.
As another challenging season looms, officials are working to ready vulnerable coastal communities for cyclones while aiding drought-hit farmers – though resources remain stretched against compound climate catastrophes.