Palawan will experience 40 percent below normal rainfalls in the first 3 months of 2019, the local office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

Sonny Pajarilla, the local chief of the state weather agency, said Monday that the projection is attributed to the expected “El Niño” seen to take effect in April.

Palawan will have an average of 36 millimeters (mm) rain starting from January to March.

With the coming El Niño, the low-pressure area (LPA) system and the inactivity of the Inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) in the area of Palawan has been observed.

“Ito ang ating projection ang January, February and March, 40 percent lang from normal dahil ang forecast natin pagdating ng April ay drought na tayo. Dahil sa patungo tayo sa weak El Niño… although ngayon ‘di pa siya full-pledged pero yon ang ating tinitingnan,” he pointed out.

(It is our projection that January, February, and March will only have 40 percent [rain] from normal due to our forecast that when we reach April, we’re in the drought period already. Because we are approaching the weak El Niño… although that’s not yet full-pledged, it’s what we’re looking at.)

For January, it will be an average rainfall of 3.7 mm which is 10 percent below the normal level of 36 mm, he said.

Pajarilla said the presence of the LPA crossing in Palawan and the activity of ITCZ contributes to the increase of rainfall in the province.

Meanwhile, light-to-moderate northeast monsoon or Amihan is prevailing in the country since Saturday and will last until Wednesday.

The west coast area will be cloudy and less likely to experience rain shower in any areas due to the intensity of Amihan to push the developing clouds.

Sea transportation for sailors and fishermen with small boats will be risky as the Amihan will affect Philippine seas until Wednesday night.

The weather agency said days of Thursday and Friday will be favorably to sail.

Isolated rain showers will be experienced on Thursday and Friday due to localized thunderstorms, especially in elevated areas, he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.