Rains expected in summertime

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014


THIS year’s summer season will not be as dry and warm as rains brought by a natural phenomenon weather forecasters called “localized thunderstorms” will also be felt in the weeks to come.

Last Sunday’s downpour was just a warm-up to a smattering of rain shower that will break the hot spell usually experienced in the months of April and May, said Hannah Salvador, weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) weather station based in Barangay Molugan, El Salvador City.

Salvador said the torrent last Sunday was brought by cumulonimbus, a cloud formation that brings localized thunderstorms which resulted to rain.

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The rain, which began at 3:04 p.m. and ended at 5:50 p.m., registered a temperature of 25.1-degree Celsius, Pagasa said.

A cumulonimbus cloud usually develops when there is a presence of “easterlies” or the hot and humid air from the Pacific Ocean.

Salvador said these easterlies develop into a cumulonimbus cloud and when it reaches land and accumulate moisture in the process, it could result to rain.

She said Mindanao is most likely to have localized thunderstorms even during the summer months since it has a mountainous terrain making it easier for the cumulonimbus cloud to collect more water from the moisture of the land mass which turns it into rain.

Salvador said due to easterlies, it’s usual for the rain to pour in the afternoon, especially after a very hot noon.

On Sunday, Pagasa spotted localized thunderstorms in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga de Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Agusan de Sur, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

In its advisory posted on its Facebook page Monday at 3:30 in the afternoon, Pagasa monitored local thunderstorms in Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, Cotabato City, Basilan, and Sulu.

But what really concerns Pagasa is that the rain brought by localized thunderstorms is sudden and heavy that could last from one to two hours.

This sudden burst of rain, Salvador said, could trigger flashfloods in low-lying areas and landslides in hilly areas, especially when the soil has gone soft from repeated downpour.

June Frivaldo, also a Pagasa weather specialist, said their instruments could only detect huge cumulonimbus clouds, which they can base their advisory on.

But, Frivaldo added, a single-cell or smaller cumulonimbus cloud, could not be seen on Pagasa’s radar.

For the summer’s average temperature, Frivaldo said the highest is 31.3-degree Celsius, while the lowest is 21.6-degree Celsius.

The weekly forecast for this week, according to Pagasa:

Tuesday (April 1) – Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers and thunderstorms; Wednesday and Thursday (April 2 and 3) – Partly cloudy skies; and Friday (April 4) – Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers and thunderstorms.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 01, 2014.

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