Tourism officers as weathermen-A A +A
As I See It
Thursday, August 9, 2012
NEGROS Occidental would always boast that it has only dry and rainy seasons. Dry season is from January to May; rains come in June and last until December. The recent developments brought about by climate change bring in environmental disasters that affect tourism industry not only in our province but in the entire archipelago.
Tourism officers are not only event organizers but they are also weather forecasters. We experience heavy rains during the dry season and we have two weeks of no rain during the rainy season, and for that we must be prepared. If we have scheduled tour packages with the tour operators, the weather is a vital factor for this socio-economic engagement. We have to master simple lesson in reading the Beaufort scale to know the force of the wind.
The day is calm when the wind speed is one kilometer per hour and the sea is like a mirror. We are assured of an enjoyable travel via ocean vessel. This is the best day to visit Guimaras Island or Iloilo.
There is light air when the wind speed reaches up to five kilometers per hour (kph). It is still fun to sail to Danjugan Island or to Carbin Reef at this point. The sea shows ripples but without foam crests. Light breeze is indicated by six to eleven kilometers per hour wind. It could be felt by your face; leaves rustle and the vanes are moving. Going to Jomabo is still safe. There are more definite wavelets but crests do not break.
You will know that there is gentle breeze when the leaves and small twigs are in constant motion. The wind speed is from 12–19 kms per hour. The wave height in the open sea is 1–2 feet. You can still enjoy a boat ride along the coastline of Sipalay.
In the lowland, we will know that there is moderate breeze when the wind speed is from 20–28 kph. It raises dust and small branches move. You can still go to Patag. When you are lucky, the fog will be kissing you. We do not advise that you sail to Lakawon with small boats. Small waves become longer.
Fresh breeze has a wind speed of 29–38 kph. The average wave height is 4–8 ft. Tour guides should opt for inland resorts. A strong breeze creates large wave form, more extensive white foam crests. It becomes difficult to use umbrellas and the whistling sound produced by PLDT and CENECO lines could be heard distinctly. The waves could rise up to 13 ft. Near gale has a wind speed reaching up to 61 kph. Tourists will be inconvenienced walking against the wind. The sea heaps up with a wave height up to 20 ft.
We are not speaking of storm or typhoon here but we will know that there is gale when the wind speed is up to 74 kph. We already have moderately high waves of greater length. Island crossing for visitors is not advised. Cancel all scuba diving or snorkeling activities. It is very risky in the open sea. Advise your visitors to visit museums or souvenir shops instead. Stay away from beach resorts.
Strong gale has a maximum wind speed of 80 kph. Slight structural damage occurs. This is a typical example of what hit some places in Silay and EB Magalona. Do not advise your visitors to proceed to Iloilo or Cebu. There will be high waves, dense streaks of foam, sea begins to roll and the spray affects visibility.
A strong gale could be an indicator of a storm or hurricane. Tourism officers, tour guides, tour operators or tour organizers should provide indoor activities for the tourists. It would be more fun if our stakeholders in the tourism industry have knowledge of the Beaufort scale. We can always observe wind and sea characteristics. We save the fun and we save the lives of our dear tourists.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 09, 2012.