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Understanding Monsoon and La Nina Scare 2011

Updated on June 28, 2011
Flashfloods in Baclaran, Paranaque City, Philippines (Sept. 26, 2009)
Flashfloods in Baclaran, Paranaque City, Philippines (Sept. 26, 2009)
Rushing waters during flashfloods
Rushing waters during flashfloods


Being ready for the rainy season

We were surprised last September 26, 2009 (Sunday) when the least popular tropical storm 'Ondoy' unleashed its heavy downpour in Central Luzon, Philippines. The places affected are cities and towns located in Metro Manila. The PAG-ASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) meteorologists concluded that they were suprised of the one-day outcome of the storm. The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) declared more than seventy persons perished because of the flashfloods and more than thousand residents were affected especially in the lowlands. Stranded people at the rooftops of houses are being rescued by the agencies like the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), with the help of the local police and army. Help through money and goods continue to pour in (as of this writing) from here and abroad. Power outtages were apparent in the affected areas.The same scenario happened more than forty years ago in the storm history of the country.

What happened in the Philippines is attributed to the so-called monsoon. It is defined as the wind that changes directions with the seasons, blowing moist air from the ocean to the land in summer and blowing dry air offshore in winter. Monsoons occur all across Africa and Asia,, but it is more apparent in India between the months of June and September. The summer monsoon brings steady rains that nourish rice and other crops.

The climate of Asia is known to have wet and dry seasons, especially in the tropical countries, like the Philipppines. The rainy season coincides with monsoon in India thereby, bringing more rains in China, Japan, Korea,Thailand and parts of Southeast Asia.

Because land heats up faster than water, by May the Asian landmass is often ten degrees Celsius warmer than the Indian Ocean. The heated air above the continent rises and expands, creating an area of low air pressure that sets the monsoon in motion.

In winter, the pattern is reversed because the land cools off faster than the ocean. For India, the result is sustained dry weather that lasts from October to May.

Meanwhile in the Philippines area, where trade winds blowing northwest toward the equator meet those blowing southwest, a line of ascending currents known as the equatorial convergence zone is formed. Southwest monsoon and intertropical convergence zone greatly affect the rainy season of the country.

Even though, Filipinos are always prepared when rainy season comes, we really cannot predict the forces of nature such as this. Flashfloods came to us by surprise last weekend and left us wet and picking up what can be reused from the things we salvaged after the flood subsided.

Note: The author got some notes from TIME LIFE ASIA Encyclopedia for more concise description of the topic.

La Nina Scare 2011

I'm updating this hub due to the extreme changes on weather around the world because of the tail of cold front in the Pacific just of late December 2010. This coincided with the event of La Nina that even dry-countrie are experiencing heavy rains and flooding around the world.

I'm taking notes with these grim scenarios that happened late December and this January 2011.

  1. Flooding in Pakistan - leaving millions of people homeless and need emeergency assistance from benevolent organizations around the world.
  2. Flooding in Australia - the swelling of Darwin river due to the so-called inland tsunamis and heavy rains left residents of Brisbane homeless and most of them are in the temporary shelter or evacuation centers.
  3. Bicol, Philippines - and the rest of the archipelago are experiencing continous raining saturating the soil, causing flashfloods and erosion. More and more are displaced and the Disaster Coordinating Councils (DDC) evacuated affected families immediately.
  4. Rains and Floods in Jeddah - brought surprise to the world as we've seen footages about the flooding situation in this city of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. We a;; know that the city is in the massive desert area in Asia. It's more of a fascination than disgust, I may say. and residents are more scared but surprised of this extreme weather change.

I am echoing this climate change to my colleagues and they are also keen of these banner situations around our planet.

That's a good sign of being aware of the much-disputed climate change that will put legislators formulating decisions that should enact regulating laws and ordinances to counter the wrath of nature.


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      That's right, Arian. It's like December breeze on March. The sun will just shine for a couple of hours in the morning but the rest of the day, it will be gloomy and drizzle of rain will follow.

    • Arian Rey profile image

      Arian Rey 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

      La Nina is here already. Wet summer is being felt in the archipelago due to the cold front and low pressure. Expect to have more flooding incidents and erosion due to saturated soils.

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      I worked in Jeddah in the 80's and you would be lucky to see one shower of rain all year, but one year there was a mega downpour and much of downtown was flooded. They have big storm drains but not big enough!

      We were always warned about camping in Wadi's because you could get a tidal wave coming through at any time without warning if there had been rains way up in the mountains.

      People forget how puny they are in the face of Nature!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I just updated this hub JP to catch the attention of everyone. This is a serious change to tackle with. It's everybody's concern. Imagine having rainy summer this year? Can't bear to be sunbathing at and the same time singing in the rain.

    • Johnny Parker profile image

      Johnny Parker 7 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

      I think we have it easy in the UK but that doesn't stop people complaining about the weather. THis El Nina is stirring up freak weather all over I think.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @RNMSN: You can never imagine how we struggle or coping up with nature's outbursts, especially heavy rains or storms. But we still thrive here. It's just a matter of determination and prayers to the Creator. Thank you. P.S. Yes, athlete's foot always makes me 'itchy'.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 7 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I live in Arizona, in the sonoran desert, and we get the monsoon weather here as well as el nino but never as terrifying as what you experience in the Phillipines! My love and prayers to you!! keep your feet dry!!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Didn't we all? Every year, we are always experiencing the wrath of nature here in the Philippines; if not typhoon, there's fire or earthquake. Yet, we didn't lose faith and hope in God. These are only challenges that we can surpass because we always help each other in times of need and difficulties. Thanks, bacville.

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      We experienced flooding during the wake of Typhoon Ondoy last September 26, 2009.