FILE PHOTO: A screengrab of a satellite image from PAGASA.
We’re now in the middle of the year but no tropical cyclone has yet entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said, even if the El Niño phenomenon is now in its decaying stage, it still affects the country.
Last month, 8 provinces were affected by drought while some areas may also be affected this month and in July including Bataan, Zambales, Palawan and Masbate.
On average, around 19-20 tropical cyclones enter the PAR. but this year only 8-14 can be expected or 16 at the end of the year.
“We are still feeling the impact of El Niño. One of the manifestations is lesser tropical cyclone,” explained Anthony Lucero, OIC in PAGASA-Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section.
PAGASA’s climatological model shows that La Niña is more likely to develop and affect the country during the last quarter of the 2016.
Giving trainings and seminars to LGU staff are part of PAGASA’s preparation.
Flood forecasting centers are also ready to monitor the 18 major and 421 principal river basins around the country.
Dissemination of storm alerts will also be more frequent.
With a lead time of 24 hours before the cyclone’s landfall, PAGASA shall release bulletins every 3 hours including hourly updates on the location and sustained winds.
“If we see in our forecast that the cyclone will gain strength within 3 hours, we will raise signal even if it is not yet attaining the suppose sustained wind,” PAGASA Weather Division Chief Esperanza Cayanan said.
PAGASA will use signal number 5 for a super typhoon category that gains the maximum sustained winds of more than 220kph.