Longer nights in PHL as Equinox begins – PAGASA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2019   •   239

MANILA, Philippines – Nights are longer starting Sept. 23 as autumnal equinox occurs in the country, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) said on Monday.

“Philippine nights will be longer as the sun moves below the celestial equator towards the southern hemisphere,” the state weather bureau said in its monthly astronomical diary.

PAGASA said equinoxes are the only times when the solar terminator or the “edge” between night and day is perpendicular to the equator.

The agency added that on an equinox, the length of day and night are nearly equal all over the planet.

“On an equinox, day and night are of approximately equal duration all over the planet. They are not exactly equal, however, due to the angular size of the sun and atmospheric refraction,” it said.

The occurrence of equinox may be taken to mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere, while marking the end of winter and the start of spring in the southern hemisphere.

‘Perla’ intensifies into a tropical storm — PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   October 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather agency PAGASA on Friday (October 18) announced that tropical depression ‘Perla’ (International name Neoguri) intensified into tropical storm.

At 4:00 AM today, the weather system was located at 790 km East of Basco, Batanes and it is moving almost stationary.

It is packed with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

Although no tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) currently in effect over any part of the country, PAGASA said TS Perla may bring scattered rains and thunderstorms over the areas of Batanes, Cagayan (including Babuyan Islands) and Apayao beginning Saturday (October 19) or Sunday (October 20).

Thus, the agency advised residents especially owners of small sea vessels that sea travel remain risky over the seaboards of Northern Luzon due to potentially rough sea conditions associated with the northeasterly surface wind flow.

Meanwhile, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) will bring cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Zamboanga Peninsula, Western Visayas and Palawan.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will likewise experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to the effects of localized thunderstorms.

Orionids meteor shower to be visible in PH starting Oct. 17 – PAGASA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019

A green and red Orionid meteor striking the sky below Milky Way and to the right of Venus. Zodiacal light is also seen in the image. The trail appears slightly curved due to edge distortion in the lens. (Photo: Brocken Inaglory/Wikipedia)

MANILA, Philippines – Astronomy enthusiasts in the country will get to see the Orionids meteor shower as it dazzles the night skies starting Thursday, Oct. 17, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

It added that the Orionids meteor shower will be active from Oct. 17 to 25. It will reach its peak on the nights of Oct. 21 to 22.

“At maximum rates, the shower may reach 15 meteors per hour that may be observed at favorable sky condition,” the state weather bureau said, adding that there may also be lulls during the traditional maximum peak nights.

PAGASA explained that the Orionids meteor shower occurs around October when the Earth is passing through the stream of debris left behind by Comet Halley, the parent comet of the Orionid shower.

Orionids meteors are described as bright or radiant, and usually put out the greatest number in the few hours before dawn.  

LPA East of Aurora is now Tropical Depression Perla

Marje Pelayo   •   October 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The low-pressure area (LPA) located east of Aurora province has developed into tropical depression ‘Perla’ at 8:00 AM on Wednesday (October 16), state weather service PAGASA said.

As of 3:00 p.m., the center of TD Perla was located 1,005 km East of Tuguegarao City.

It is moving West Northwest at 25 kph packed with maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

PAGASA has not issued a tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) yet over any part of the country.

However, the weather system may still bring adverse weather conditions over Batanes, Cagayan (including the Babuyan Islands), and Apayao beginning Friday evening (October 18) or Saturday morning (October 19).

According to PAGASA, TD Perla is less likely to develop into a tropical storm.

The weather agency, however, warned that sea travel remains risky for small sea vessels over the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon due to potentially rough sea conditions associated with the northeasterly surface wind flow.

PAGASA issued gale warning of 2.8-4.5 meters in Batanes, Cgayan inlcuding Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan.

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