Extreme weather still to come: experts hinh anh 1Severe drought in Ben Tre province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Experts have warned of more severe weather conditions this year, particularly a drought and heat wave.

Le Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecast Centre, said more severe weather conditions have been forecast for this year, which may intersect or clash with each other, with damaging results.

Houses and crops could be seriously damaged and the lives of people would be affected, he said.

Hai said the Central Highlands, the southern and northwest regions may experience a severe drought.

The weather will start becoming hotter earlier and will last from April till August, he said. The average temperature across the country will increase by 1-1.5 degrees Celsius compared with the average temperature of previous years.

Unusual weather conditions are also likely to occur, such as higher rainfall during the dry season and lower rainfall during the monsoon, he said.

Last year witnessed a similar situation when many central coastal provinces faced a 50-70 percent rain shortage during the rainy season, while record rains were seen in localities such as Da Nang, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai during the dry season.

The deputy director also warned the El Nino phenomenon would continue to affect the country in the first half of this year. Hot and dry weather was likely in the Central Highlands and the southern region in June and in the southern coastal provinces in August.

Since 2015, Vietnam has been suffering from the impact of El Nino – likely to be the longest one in the last six decades – with nearly 40,000ha of agricultural land rendered inadequate water for production due to a massive drought across the central region, the Central Highlands and the southern region. The weather pattern also caused a water shortage that affected tens of thousands of people’s daily life.

“In the latter half of the year, people should stay alert against more storms, and if the La Nina phenomenon follows right after El Nino, it will have the opposite effect of El Nino, resulting in more rain, flooding and the risk of landslides,” he said.

Nguyen Duc Hoa, the deputy head of the centre’s Medium and Long-term Hydro-Meteorological Forecast Office, warned residents to take precautions against hailstorms and whirlwinds, which often start in March and last till October.-VNA