MANILA, Philippines—After days of heavy rain induced by Tropical Storms “Chedeng” and “Dodong,” the weather bureau sees the dry spell waning in the western section of Luzon by the end of the month.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) recorded substantial rainfall in Region 1 (Ilocos), Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Metro Manila, and most parts of Region 3 (Central Luzon) from Monday to Thursday.
It predicted that the dry spell would persist in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) because of the minimal rainfall there.
“In general, the dry spell in the western section of Luzon will ease off,” Rosalina de Guzman, Pagasa supervising weather specialist, said in a phone interview.
“If this continues, the level of rainfall would normalize by the end of the month,” she said.
As the water level in Angat Dam continued to rise, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said it saw no cutback in the water supply for Metro Manila residents and farmers in Central Luzon this month.
The water level in Angat had risen to 181.62 meters—slightly above the critical level of 180 m—by 6 a.m. yesterday.
“There’s sufficient water,” NWRB executive director Ramon Alikpala told reporters. “I don’t think it will make sense to cut back the water for Metro Manila for the entire month of August.”
No tropical cyclone was spotted yesterday in the Philippine area of responsibility following Dodong’s exit on Thursday.
The low-pressure area estimated at 600 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes, failed to intensify into a tropical depression.
But Pagasa forecast monsoon rains in the western section of Northern and Central Luzon.
The rest of Luzon and the whole of Visayas will experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. Mindanao will have partly cloudy and cloudy skies with isolated rain showers and thunderstorms.
Until the rains came this week, Pagasa had warned that the dry spell could worsen into a drought because of the minimal rainfall expected this month.
Alikpala said on Thursday that the NWRB was scuttling its plan to impose a fresh cutback in the water supply from Angat to metro residents and Central Luzon farmers on Aug. 16 in view of the rapid rise in the water level.
Below normal rainfall
However, he could not say if there would be a cutback in September. He said this would depend on the amount of rainfall next month.
A dry spell had hit Regions 1, 2, 3, CAR and Metro Manila for the past two months. And because of lower than normal rainfall, the water level in major dams in Luzon had dipped to way below the critical level.
In Region 1 from Aug. 1 to 9, the total rainfall recorded in Pagasa stations in the cities of Laoag and Vigan were 672 millimeters and 660 mm—exceeding their normal rainfall of 556 mm and 642 mm for the month of August.
The rainfall in Dagupan City totaled 454 mm—more than half of the normal 608 mm.
But in CAR, the total rainfall recorded in the Pagasa station in Baguio City was 503 mm—more than half of the normal 911 mm for the whole month.
And in Metro Manila, the total rainfall recorded in Quezon City was 294 mm—more than half of the normal 526 mm.
Dry spell in Region 2
Chedeng and Dodong induced the southwest monsoon (habagat) to dump heavy rain in the western section of Luzon, triggering flash floods in the metropolis and landslides in the countryside.
Pagasa also recorded substantial rainfall in most parts of Central Luzon, but not in the entire region.
At its station in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, the total rainfall registered 233 mm—more than half of the normal 380 mm. But in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, the total rainfall was 162 mm—less than half of the normal 404 mm.
Pagasa also expected the dry spell to persist in Region 2.
In Isabela, for example, the total rainfall reached 68.4 mm—still way below the normal 188 mm and hence the minimal rise in the water level in Magat Dam.
The total rainfall in Aparri, Cagayan, totaled only 17 mm—way below the normal 194 mm—and 20.4 mm in Tuguegarao, Cagayan—way below the normal 242 mm.
“The dry spell will likely continue in Region 2 until the end of the month,” De Guzman said.
The NWRB attributed the rise in water elevation in Angat Dam not only to the rainfall but also to the voluntary cutoff undertaken by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and the National Irrigation Administration.
The two agencies started cutting their water supply from Angat to zero on Wednesday and relied on Ipo Dam and Bustos Dam, respectively, to supply water to 12 million residents in the metropolis and farmers tending 18,000 hectares of farmland in Bulacan and Pampanga.
Ipo and Bustos are the impounding dams for the water of metro residents and Central Luzon farmers, respectively. The water in these reservoirs comes from Angat.