Low pressure area to bring heavy rains in Visayas-A A +A
Monday, November 14, 2011
MANILA (Updated 2:38 p.m.) -- State weather forecasters are keeping a close eye on a brewing tropical cyclone in the Pacific Ocean that is expected to hit Surigao on Tuesday before crossing the islands of Visayas.
But this early, Science Undersecretary Graciano Yumul ruled out the possibility that it will develop into tropical depression "Sendong" given the low pressure area’s proximity to land.
"It has a little chance to develop into a storm. But surely, it will bring rains along its path," he told Sun.Star, adding they are still expecting two storms to visit the country this November.
In an update, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) spotted the low pressure area some 380 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
It is embedded along the intertropical convergence zone affecting the Visayas and Mindanao.
"Both weather systems will bring scattered to widespread rains over the Central and Eastern Visayas and Northeastern Mindanao which may trigger flash floods and landslides," Pagasa said.
Meanwhile, the government has earmarked P425 million to upgrade the country’s weather and flood forecasting facilities.
Of this amount, P150 million will be used to enhance the Pagasa's Doppler radar network while P275 million will be used to construct a state-of-the-art National Meteorological and Climate Center.
These are part of the P72.11-billion disbursement economic stimulus package of the Aquino administration.
“Better, real-time monitoring of typhoons, floods, and disasters will benefit sectors across the board, including aviation, maritime and shipping, agriculture and trade sectors whose operations are severely hampered by weather disturbances,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
Abad said three Doppler radars will be installed in Antique, Palawan, and the Zamboanga Peninsula along the western side of the Philippines, completing the Doppler radar network’s coverage of the country.
With the help of high-precision Doppler radars, Pagasa had said it can provide the expected rainfall for a certain province or city as long as it is within the 450-kilometer range of the instrument.
It can also detect a possible occurrence of thunderstorms and tornadoes.
At present, there are five Doppler radars in the country which can be found in Baguio City, Subic (Zambales), Tagaytay City, Baler (Aurora), and Hinatuan (Surigao del Sur).
By 2016, Pagasa expects 14 Doppler radars to be fully operational. These include Cebu, Tampakan (South Cotabato), Virac (Catanduanes), Guiuan (Eastern Samar), Zamboanga and Palawan.
Meanwhile, the planned climate center will host research laboratories, weather, and climate prediction sites, among other information and communication technologies that will improve the forecasting of typhoon movement, intensity, and rainfall.
With a training center, auditorium, and museum, the NMCC will likewise serve as a learning institution for information-sharing, capacity-building activities, consultancy, and other technical assistance, Abad said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)