PAGASA’s weather bulletin now emphasizes wind speed

Marje Pelayo   •   July 17, 2019   •   1428

A man walks on a street while strong winds and heavy rain, brought by typhoon Hagupit, batter Atimonan town, Quezon province, south of Manila December 8, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/ROMEO RANOCO

MANILA, Philippines – We used to hear ‘tropical cyclone warning signal’ in an occurrence of a tropical cyclone.

But how does it help?

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) is part of the bulletin being issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) during the existence of a tropical cyclone that can affect the country.

But the weather agency modified its weather bulletin to emphasize wind speed thus changing the name to ‘tropical cyclone wind signal’.

According to PAGASA, the modified bulletin emphasizes the strength of wind that may affect a specific location.

“Ibig sabihin yung intensity ng bagyo, hindi porke maulan ay malakas na yung bagyo, (That refers to the intensity of the cyclone. When it rains heavily doesn’t mean that the cyclone is strong,)” explained PAGASA weather forecaster Loriedin dela Cruz.

“So talagang doon tayo tumitingin sa lakas ng hangin na dala niya kaya pinalitan natin ito or ni-revised po natin ito ng wind signal, (We are looking into the strength of wind that the (cyclone) brings so we revised it to wind signal,)” he added.

Signal #1 means the expected speed of wind in at least 36 hours is 30 to 60 kph.

This means the cyclone can damage structures made with light materials and break tree branches.

Signal #2 means the expected speed of wind in at least 24 hours is between 61 to 120 kph.

This wind signal means the cyclone can topple utility posts, can cause leaning of banana trees, and can rip off house roofs.

Signal #3 means the wind speed that may be expected in at least 18 hours is between 121 to 170 kph; Signal #4 means the wind speed that may be expected in at least 12 hours is between 171 to 220 kph; while Signal #5 means the wind is faster than 220 kph in at least 12 hours.

During cyclone signals 4 and 5, storm surge of up to 2 to 3 meters high may threaten the coastal communities.

PAGASA’s bulletins now separates wind speed from the amount of rainfall that may affect certain areas to inform residents and help the prepare for a possible flood.

The weather service also issues heavy rainfall warning for other weather systems that may bring heavy rains such as southwest monsoon or habagat, northeast monsoon or amihan. Low pressure area (LPA) and thunderstorms.

“May mga bagyo na kakaunti ang dalang ulan, meron din naman na talagang madaming ulan na dala. Meron ding LPA na mas marami pang ulang dala kaysa sa Tropical Depression, (There are cyclones that bring small amount of rain, some brings heavy rains. There is also the LPA which brings more rains than tropical depressions,)” dela Cruz noted. – with reports from Rey Pelayo

Luzon enjoys cold breeze of ‘Amihan’

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The northeast monsoon or ‘hanging Amihan’ is bringing cold breeze to Luzon while the easterlies are affecting the eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao, the state weather service PAGASA said.

Cloudy skies with light rains is expected in the areas of Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon on Friday (December 13) with windy conditions in coastal and mountainous areas due to the effects of the Northeast Monsoon.

Meanwhile, portions of Visayas, Caraga and Palawan will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to the effects of the easterlies.

Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, on the other hand, will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains throughout the day.

The rest of the country may expect partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms.

During such weather condition, flashfloods and landslides may happen in affected areas so residents are still advised to take appropriate measures.

Meanwhile, the temperature at Science Garden in Quezon City may range from 24.4’C to 30.2’C throughout the day.  

Several parts of PH to witness annular solar eclipse on Dec. 26

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

The annular solar eclipse as seen from Hongdao of Qingdao, eastern China’s Shandong province, 15 January 2010. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

Several parts of the Philippines will be able to witness the annular solar eclipse on December 26, according to PAGASA.

“An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the sun thus creating a ‘ring of fire’ effect,” according to PAGASA.

The annular eclipse will be observed in the southernmost part of Davao Occidental.

According to PAGASA, the best site of observation is in Balut and Batulaki, Sarangani Island, Davao Occidental while other parts of the country will observe it as partial solar eclipse.

The earliest start of the eclipse will begin at 12:32 p.m. in Manila while it will begin at 12:43 p.m. in Balut Island. —AAC

Bicol, Northern Samar may expect occasional heavy rains on Tuesday — PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The tail-end of a cold front is currently affecting the Bicol Region, Quezon province and Northern Samar, according to PAGASA.

This brings cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms over the said areas thus residents are advised to take appropriate actions for possible landslides and flash floods.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon is now affecting the rest of Luzon.

Specifically, this brings cloudy skies with light rains over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region and Aurora province where gusty conditions in coastal and mountainous areas are observed.

Mindanao, Palawan, and the rest of Visayas, however, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to localized thunderstorms.

Similar weather condition will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon due to the Northeast Monsoon but with no significant impact, PAGASA said.

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