The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has issued its second long-term forecast for the year. It expects that this year’s rainy season will arrive later than last year’s, likely in the second week of May.

The extended length of the dry season also prompted the ministry to advise people to use water sparingly.

The notice indicated that the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern is currently neutral (neither La Nina nor El Nino). Based on the global notice given by the Pacific ocean temperature, there is a 60 per cent chance that El Nino – the warm phase of ENSO – will form in the May-August period, which will increase to 70-80 per cent by the September-November period.

The onset of the rainy season is likely to be accompanied by extreme weather events, it warned.

“While total rainfall is predicted to be 20 to 30 per cent less than the annual average, there may be frequent thunderstorms and high winds at the beginning of the rainy season,” it said.

It continued that moderate rainfall is expected through August and September – the middle of the rainy season – although some storms may also occur.

The rainy season is likely to end in the first week of November, although it may end earlier in some provinces.

Owing to the reduced rainfall, the ministry predicted that Cambodia may face the risk of short drought periods from early July to early August.

“Therefore, we would like to inform state institutions, local authorities and all members of the public to store water and use it sparingly, especially in remote rural areas,” it said.

Recent stormy weather saw damage to several parts of the Kingdom. On the evening of April 22, high winds damaged 12 homes in Krasaing commune’s Banteat Boskhna village in Oddar Meanchey province’s Chongkal district. Another seven houses were damaged in Mondulkiri province’s Koh Nhek district while billboards were blown down on National Road 5, near Mongkol Borei district police station in Banteay Meanchey province.