Finally! The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) affirmed the official beginning of the rainy season on Friday, June 14. The homestead in Guimaras, the island province we call home, rejoices. We’ve endured several months of drought. Consequently, we’ve required three water deliveries already at 1700 pesos a crack, 34 bucks.
Despite having two wells, both dug deeper by a local crew last month, we’ve been running low on water. Furthermore, my industrious wife has been maintaining a water conservation program she initiated at the beginning of the year.
“The occurrence of scattered to at times widespread rainfall associated with the Southwest Monsoon during the past few days as observed by most PAGASA stations in the western section of the country confirms the onset of the rainy season over the areas under the Type I climate. These rains will continue to affect the country, especially over the western sections of Luzon and Visayas,” the weather bureau said in a statement.
However, breaks in rainfall events (also known as monsoon break) that can last for several days or weeks may still occur.
PAGASA expects rainfall conditions over most parts of Luzon and Visayas to be “generally near to above normal” by July. However, Mindanao and Southern Visayas will experience “below normal” rainfall conditions.
Guimaras is located in Western Visayas.
The rainy season came late this year due to a weak El Niño system. The last week of May or first week of June are the usual start times for the rainy season.
Last year’s rainy season officially began on June 8.
For the onset of the rainy season to be declared, the requirement is 5 days of rain generating a total amount of at least 25 millimeters (mm) of rainfall. These 5 days must also include 3 straight days of at least 1 mm of rainfall.
Meanwhile, a weak El Niño condition persisted in the tropical Pacific since the last quarter of 2018 and may likely to continue during the June-July-August 2019 season.
Personally, I’m always elated when the rainy season commences. The high heat and humidity during the months of March, April and May are extremely uncomfortable. At least the rainy season marks the advent of cloudy skies and rain which help to cool things down.
Rainy Season Start & Captain Tom’s Amazing Adventure
I remember one particular year when the rainy season began. Captain Tom, fka “Brother Tom, and I were doing a tour of Guimaras. Our only mission at that time was to find out which establishment offered the coldest beer. I like to call it Captain Tom’s amazing adventure.
Regular readers of PhilippinesPlus will recall that Tom, a veritable “chick magnet” on Guimaras, ended up marrying one of my wife’s thousands of relatives on our island.
Tom and I sauntered into the Zen Chalet. The friendly folks there allowed us to quaff a few cold adult beverages despite the fact that we weren’t hotel guests. We were escorted to an upper room when a torrential rain began. The rain loudly splattered against the metal roof making any conversation very difficult. However, I didn’t mind. The rainy season was beginning and cooler conditions would be forthcoming.
I can’t recall which establishment in Guimaras had the coldest beer. I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning, let alone something that happened years ago.
That said, if you’re going to have a cold brew or two, Captain Tom makes an exceptionally good drinking partner. In contrast, I only have a beer or two now during the week. Tom has been back in the States for years. As such, that has cut back drastically on my consumption of alcoholic beverages.
The “Chick Magnet” called on stage at Manggahan
2019 Tropical Storm Predictions
Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones from June to November:
June – 1 or 2
July – 2 or 3
August – 2 or 3
September – 2 to 4
October – 2 or 3
November – 1 or 2
So far, the Philippines has had 3 tropical cyclones in 2019: Tropical Depression Amang in January, Tropical Depression Betty in February, and Tropical Depression Chedeng in March.
The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. However, PAGASA earlier said there may be fewer tropical cyclones in 2019 as a weak El Niño persists.
PAGASA said there is a 70% chance that El Niño will continue from June to August. Furthermore, there is a 55% to 60% chance that it will still prevail from September to November.
With reporting from PAGASA and Rappler.com