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Arrival of 'amihan' nears

MANILA, October 10, 2016 -- The southwest monsoon or 'habagat' is weakening, signaling the arrival of the cool northeast monsoon or 'amihan', a weather forecaster has said.

"We expect 'amihan' to likely begin around the last week of this month," said Meno Mendoza of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

'Amihan' will first affect Batanes province and other northern Luzon areas, he noted.

"Metro Manila will feel the cool 'amihan' winds between December and January," he added.

According to the state weather bureau, the 'amihan' starts over Siberia as a cold, dry air mass gathers moisture while traveling across the Pacific Ocean.

The 'amihan' affects the Philippines' eastern portions from October to late March and is characterized by “widespread” cloudiness with rains or showers.

Mendoza noted that the 'habagat' is already weakening as meteorological conditions are already transitioning to the 'amihan'.

Rains from the weakening 'habagat' will be less intense than what this weather system brought in previous weeks, he said.

He however said that even when the 'amihan' sets in, the inter-tropical convergence zone and other weather systems could still bring thunderstorms. (By Catherine J. Teves, PNA)

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