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Spatial and Temporal Variations of the La Niña Phenomenon in the Philippines

Vicente G. Ballaran, Jr.1, Moises A. Dorado2, Ronaldo B. Saludes3 and Romina Manalo-Bondad4


La Niña is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific region. This study aimed to provide an in-depth analysis of spatio-temporal variability of La Niña occurrences in the Philippines. Interpolated maps of percent rainfall deviation of seven La Niña episodes from 1971 to 2004 were generated. Comparison of rice yield against La Niña years was done. The onset and recovery of La Niña events in the Philippines were also determined and compared with the cold episodes in the tropical pacific. Results showed that monthly rainfall varies spatially and temporally. La Niña events do not have equally strong effects on the Philippine climate as every event is of a different duration, magnitude, direction and intensity. However, longer period of onset and recovery in the Philippines was observed during the period of cold episodes in the tropical pacific as exhibited by most of the seven episodes in this study. These findings will help provide the farmers and policy makers’ additional vital information for coping with the threat of La Niña episodes.

Keywords: La Niña, cold episodes, Sea Surface Temperature (SST), spatial, temporal

1,3Assistant Professors, 2Associate Professor, Agrometeorology and Farm Structures (AFSD), Institute of Agricultural Engineering, College of Engineering & Agro-Industrial Technology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, 4031 College, Laguna, Philippines; 4Instructor, Department of Engineering Science, CEAT,UPLB.