Water level below normal in major dams in Luzon

Marje Pelayo   •   April 29, 2019   •   1296

La Mesa Dam

MANILA, Philippines – The water level in Magat Dam in Isabela has increased by 10 meters from 162 meters on April 1 to 172.93 meters as of 6:00 am today (April 29).

“May pag-ulan doon sa may bandang Isabela, sa Mountain Province. Kapag doon umulan papasok sa water reservoir ng Magat,” PAGASA Weather Specialist II Edgar Dela Cruz said.

However, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said this is still five meters short of the dam’s rule curve elevation or normal water level of 177.45 meters.

Other dams like Ipo (101m), Ambuklao (740.44m), Binga (566.27m) and Caliraya Dams, on the other hand, have recorded a slight increase in their respective water level in the past days.

Caliraya dam collected an additional one meter at 287.13 meters from its water reserve of 286.14 meters on Sunday (April 29).

La Mesa dam has become stagnant at 68.45m while San Roque (from 250.63m to 250.08m)  and Pantabangan (195.10m to 195.05m) dams suffered slight depletion from April 28 to April 29.

Angat Dam, Metro Manila’s main source of domestic water requirement, has its water level reduced from 179.97m to 179.50m as of 6:00 a.m. today.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said this level is already below Angat Dam’s minimum operating level of 180 meters.

Nevertheless, the agency noted that such water level remains above the dam’s critical level for domestic use. It is critical, however, to farmlands that depend irrigation from Angat Dam.

The dam is continuously releasing 38 cubic meters per second of water a day for Metro Manila; while the allocation for irrigation has been reduced to 10 cubic meters per second (cms) from 35 cms.

Experts warn that Angat dam might reach the critical level when its water reserve continues to drop to 160 meters.

The lowest level recorded was in July 2010 when Angat’s water dipped to 157.55 meters.

According to NWRB, the water level in Angat Dam will further recede to 173.52 meters in May.

If this happens, the agency will decide on whether or not to reduce the supply for Metro Manila in order to have enough supply in case of delay in the onset of the rainy season.

Iko-consider din natin ang succeeding months kasi for preparation. One of this is baka magkaroon ng adjustment sa allocation kung kinakailangan if wala pang masyadogn mga ulan na dumarating,” explained NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr.

(We will consider the succeeding months for the preparation. One of these is a possible adjustment in allocation when necessary is in case the onset of the rainy season is delayed.)

The agency added that the weak El Niño is expected to persist until August but several areas will experience normal rainfall starting May. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

‘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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