- Education and Science
Understanding Monsoon and La Nina Scare 2011
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.
- Flooding in Pakistan - leaving millions of people homeless and need emeergency assistance from benevolent organizations around the world.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.