Metro Manila, Philippines – The state weather bureau on Friday announced the onset of the northeast monsoon season, known as “amihan,” which will bring wind and cold temperature surges in October to March.

A week earlier, the bureau announced the end of ‘habagat,’ or the southwest monsoon season which brought warm, moist winds to the western portion of the country from May to September.

“In recent days, strong northeasterly winds have prevailed over Northern Luzon due to the strengthening of the high-pressure system over Siberia,” the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

“Moreover, gradual cooling of the surface air temperature over the northeastern part of Luzon and increasing mean sea level pressure have been observed,” it said. “These meteorological patterns indicate the onset of the northeast monsoon (amihan) season in the country.”

The agency said the “weak” El Niño, which began in July, increased the likelihood of below-normal rainfall conditions and dry spells, leading to possible drought in parts of the country.

PAGASA said this may adversely affect climate-sensitive sectors, which include water resources, agriculture, energy, health, and public safety.

The dry spell is expected to last until the first quarter of next year.