by Catherine J. Teves, Philippine News Agency | Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Beginning this year, State-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will increase the frequency of its severe weather bulletins’ issuance.
“We’ll issue those bulletins every three hours instead of the former six hours,” PAGASA Weather Division chief Dr. Esperanza Cayanan said on Wednesday (June 15) at a forum the agency spearheaded in Metro Manila.
She said such move aims to better update the public on status of tropical cyclones (TCs), which in 24 hours can either landfall or hover very near the country, so people can prepare accordingly.
PAGASA plans issuing its bulletins at even greater frequency if needed, however, she clarified.
“If there’s significant change in weather and increased danger to the public, we can issue corresponding auxiliary bulletins,” she said.
PAGASA is optimistic that increasing the frequency of issuing severe weather bulletins will help better protect life, limb and property nationwide.
At the forum, PAGASA said the El Nino phenomenon continues waning and can end around mid-2016.
PAGASA still expects the rain-driving La Nina phenomenon to develop later this year.
The country will possibly continue experiencing below-average number of TCs this year due to El Nino, noted PAGASA.
During normal times, PAGASA said the country averages around 20 TCs a year.
Cayanan said PAGASA already decided changing its term “public storm warning signal” to “tropical cyclone warning signal (TCWS).”
PAGASA made such change since storm is just one kind of TC, she said.
She noted PAGASA will commence using the term ‘TCWS’ this year.
“If we’re sure a TC will intensify, we’ll already raise the appropriate warning signal to alert people as early as possible,” she said.
People must heed PAGASA’s warnings so they can help protect themselves, she added. (PNA)