Much has been made about the unreasonably hot and dry summer the Philippines had this 2019 because of El Niño. Some harvests were affected. Metro manila suffered – and continues to suffer – the usual round of water shortages that always happens when there is too much sun. Not even the coming of rainy season has done much for quickly refilling the critically-low Angat Dam which provides the capital and its neighbors with water. It had been hoped that the entry of Tropical Depression Dodong could help water the parched country some. But from its current movements, Luzon must wait some more.
ABS-CBN News reports that as of the latest report from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Tropical Depression Dodong is not going any closer to the country. Instead it will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) before the end of Wednesday, June 26. PAGASA weather specialist Benison Estareja has noted that Dodong has stopped its northwesterly progress and gone north then northeasterly in its path. By 10 AM today, TD Dodong was at 705 kilometers due east of Batanes, and moving 15 kilometers per hour northeast.
Thus far the still-ongoing El Niño phenomenon has been frustrating the formation of tropical depressions that could bring heavy rains along with the southwest monsoon. While Dodong, with its maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of 60 km/h, is on the way out, rains brought by the monsoon might still at least slow down the increasing water shortage in Luzon. Light to moderate rains are being forecast by PAGASA Wednesday on Regions IVB – Mimaropa, V – Bicol and VI – Western Visayas. By Thursday, June 27, this will spread to Region III – Central Luzon and ultimately Metro Manila itself. While Angat Dam is still iffy, the La Mesa Dam at least is seeing its water level rise a bit more.
It was this quality of La Mesa compared to Angat that PAGASA remarked on further during their report on Tropical Depression Dodong’s current whereabouts. Assistant weather services chief Renato Paciente said that its location in Quezon City enables it to quickly fill with thunderstorms or monsoon rains, and runoff from its watershed, a far cry from Angat Dam. Meanwhile, the weather bureau has spotted a cloud formation east of Mindanao, 2,000 kilometers off, that stand a possibility of developing into a new tropical depression. Time will tell if it does.
Image courtesy of RMN