PAGASA’s weather bulletin now emphasizes wind speed

Marje Pelayo   •   July 17, 2019   •   1250

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

PAGASA declares end of El Niño

Marje Pelayo   •   August 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA has declared the end of weak El Niño which has started in the last quarter of 2018.

This means that the temperature in the Pacific Ocean has returned to normal and will remain so until the end of 2019.

During the past three to five months, areas of Oriental Mindoro and Sultan Kudarat experienced less rainfall.

But this August, PAGASA expects normal rainfall level in areas of Calabarzon, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Metro Manila, most parts of Eastern Visayas, and the provinces of Nueva Viscaya, Quirino, Bataan, Aurora, Agusan Del Norte, and Surigao Del Norte.

The El Niño has incurred P7.963-B worth of damage in agriculture across the country, according to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in JUNE 27, 2019.

This is apart from other problems such as the water crisis that hit Metro Manila when the level of water reserve in Angat Dam dipped below the minimum operating level of 180 meters.

For now, the dam’s supply is gradually recovering as it hit 177.12 meters at 6:00 a.m. today (August 16).

With this development, the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) may soon increase water allocation in Metro Manila to 40 cubic meters per second from the current 36 cubic meters per second, according to the agency’s Executive Director Sevillo David. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Angat Dam water level improves at 176.72 meters

Marje Pelayo   •   August 15, 2019

Angat Dam

MANILA, Philippines – The water level in Angat Dam has improved, according to the latest record from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

As of 6:00 AM Thursday (August 15), The water level in Angat Dam was at 176.72 meters, a 0.43-meter increase from 176.29 meters recorded on Wednesday (August 14).

Days of continuous rainshowers brought about by monsoon rains somehow replenished Angat Dam’s water reserve.

However, its water level remains below the dam’s minimum normal operating level of 180 meters.

Angat Dam is the main source of water supply for Metro Manila.

Monsoon rains to prevail as Typhoon Hanna exits PAR

Marje Pelayo   •   August 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA announced that Typhoon Hanna (international name Lekima) has exited the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) at 12:30 AM on Friday (August 8).

However, PAGASA said moderate to heavy monsoon rains will still prevail over the areas of Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro and northern portions of Palawan (including Calamian Islands) due to the effects of the southwest monsoon or habagat.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila, Western Visayas, and the rest of CALABARZON, Central Luzon, and MIMAROPA will experience light to moderate with intermittent heavy monsoon rains throughout the day.

As of 4:00 AM today, the eye of Typhoon Hanna was observed at 645 km North Northeast of Basco, Batanes outside PAR. It is moving north northwest at 20 kph packed with maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TWCS) has been lifted over Batanes however, gusty conditions will continue over most of Luzon and Visayas due to the enhanced habagat.

Thus, sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao due to potentially rough seas.

Meanwhile, PAGASA estimated the location of Typhoon Krosa at 1,990 km east of extreme northern Luzon.

It is moving slowly towards the east direction and is not expected to enter the PAR.

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