Public warned against weather change

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Thursday, December 22, 2011


THE Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) dismissed speculations of another Sendong-like tropical storm to hit Mindanao again.

However, Pagasa warned the public of “weather changes” anytime.

Luz Mercado, weather specialist of Pagasa in Cagayan de Oro, said the public, especially those residing in flood-prone areas, has to raise their consciousness on weather conditions and must be regularly updated on latest weather announcements, “not by text only, but through Pagasa.”

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“The weather (at this time) changes so the public must be vigilant at all times,” Mercado said over the radio.

She said Mindanao has no indication of heavy rains or typhoon and there is no cloud formation that would develop into a typhoon.

For the benefit of the public to understand weather conditions, Mercado explained, if winds blow 20 kilometers per hour (kph), the weather is normal.

“Going 30 kph, a low pressure area is already active until it develops to a tropical depression (signal number 1) strong winds reaching 60 kph. Sixty to 100 kph (signal number 2), the tropical depression develops into a tropical storm so the public must be conscious of saving their lives already. For 100 up to 185 kph, it is already a super typhoon,” she said.

On its latest weather update, Pagasa claimed no tropical cyclone or typhoon is expected to affect Bukidnon and the rest of Mindanao from December 22 to 26, according to the Philippine Information Agency’s text announcements quoting Anianita Fortich, chief of the Meteorological officer of Pagasa in Bukidnon.

Fortich said based on the special weather outlook for Christmas holidays, the weather systems to affect most parts of the country are only “Amihan” and tail-end of the cold front (the meeting of cold and warm air), which will prevail in the next four days.

Visayas and Mindanao have cloudy skies with rain showers and thunderstorms.

However, she said there will be widespread rains over Eastern Mindanao which may cause flash floods and landslides.

Fortich reiterated that the forecast widespread rains are due to the tail-end of the cold front, not from a tropical cyclone or “bagyo”.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 23, 2011.

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