Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weather. Show all posts

02 April 2017

Fluky April Cold Weather and Winds Equivalent to PSWS Signal Number One
The brisk NE monsoon winds are clearly reflected in this graphic.  Click here to view the animation.

In late March, over TV Patrol, the weather segment reported several times that PAGASA, the Philippine weather bureau, had been waiting to declare the official start to the hot and dry summer season. Each time, the declaration would be delayed by the resurgence of the northeast monsoon.

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The Warmest January in Lipa in a Lifetime


There you have it. Kuya Kim, in last night’s evening edition of TV Patrol, reported that NASA has declared the previous month as the warmest January ever on record. In doing so, Kuya Kim merely confirmed something that I had suspected since February began.

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13 July 2015

Local Governments, Monsoons and the Suspension of Classes

Monsoons are exacerbated by poor urban infrastructures and the lack of mass transport.

The protocols laid down by the current government pertinent to the suspension of classes for weather-related reasons are arguably better than they used to be. The onus in decision making, i.e. to suspend or not to suspend, is now in the hands of local government.

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27 January 2015

Has Your Body Gotten Used to the Cold Season Yet?

Image credit:  http://www.farmersalmanac.com/.
The past few nights, it has become something of a habit for me to glance at the digital thermometer atop my fridge to see what the temperature would be before I retired to my bed. Because the tail end of a cold front has hovered near the central Philippines for the last few days, the thermometer has consistently read 23°C or 73.4°F just before bedtime.

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25 January 2015

The Behind-the-Scenes Weather Miracle During the Pope’s Visit

Pope Francis in the Popemobile with Manila's Cardinal Tagle.
Before anything else, you will probably think if at all you do bother to read this that the premise of this article is something that can be thought up only by someone with too much time on his hands. To this, I say outright, guilty as charged!

But do go ahead and bear with the numbers and you will find things at least fun if not intriguing to ponder.

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08 December 2014

Stressed Out Waiting for the Typhoon Ruby in Batangas

Image generated by Google Earth
from PAGASA coordinates.
So by morning yesterday, the weather gurus were more or less certain that Tropical Storm Ruby – international name Hagupit – was heading straight into Batangas instead of northern Mindoro as earlier forecasted.

I was thinking, “Great! Another direct hit!” You all gotta understand that thinking in Batangas, specifically Lipa where I live. Typhoon Glenda flew – literally, in many cases – over our roofs as recently as last July; and she was one nasty screamer.

Of course last night, at around 9 o’clock at night when Ruby was a mere 17 kilometres or so from where I live, my thoughts were, “Where’s the bitch?” The rains were incessant but not hard; and I can fart harder than the winds.

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03 November 2014

Government Should Heed the Warning of 3 Category 5 Typhoons That Just Missed Us

Image credit:  http://inhabitat.com/
In this evening’s edition, TV Patrol started airing special reports on what has transpired in areas most severely affected by last year’s phenomenal Super-Typhoon Haiyan, a.k.a. Yolanda.

The most powerful typhoon to ever have made landfall crossed the Philippines on the 8th of November last year; and the special reports, I suppose, are ABS-CBN’s way of commemorating the event.

First of all, the areas in Samar which were being shown on television are probably all a long way from being what they used to be. What concerns me about the video clips that were being shown by TV Patrol was that efforts to rebuild seemed to have been aimed simply at restoring what used to be.

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18 September 2014

Beware the Coming of October, Weather-wise

Courtesy of Google Earth, with
weather overlay.
In this country of ours where the Christmas carols start playing as soon as the so-called -ber months set in, it is frequently overlooked that the last quarter of the year – October and November, in particular – is the most perilous for this country weather-wise.

More weather disturbances spawn in the Western Pacific in June and July, traditionally regarded as the height of the rainy season in the country. By August, the number begins to taper down.

Thus, the usual thinking is that the worst of the typhoon season has passed and everyone begins to look forward to the holiday season, especially with the carols playing incessantly over the radio and even inside the malls.

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24 July 2014

Tsunami Hoax Death Shows How Jittery People are After Glenda

There was this item in the news earlier this week that, if only there was no death involved, I would have found almost comical. Text messages started circulating among village folks in San Juan, Batangas and Candelaria, Quezon Province about the supposed impending arrival of a tsunami.

The messages sent the folks into a state of frenzy, enough at any rate to send most scampering away into safety. There were those who were level-headed enough to ask one village councillor if there was any truth to the tsunami warning. The councillor asked somebody in city hall; who, in turn, replied that there had been no official warning.

The village folks scampered away, nonetheless.

Regrettably, one family packed everyone, including 64-year old grandmother Julieta Pañoso, onto a tricycle to make its escape. As the family drove away, the tricycle must have hit a rock or a hump on the road, causing Lola Julieta – who must have been seated behind the driver – to fall off and thump her head hard on the road.

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22 July 2014

Typhoon Glenda’s Passage through Batangas Plotted on Google Earth

Forgive me for refusing to let the matter drop just yet as I am sure most of you really wish never to see Typhoon Glenda again. But seeing as I do every night on the news the damage that the typhoon left behind – even a week after it passed – I just had to know exactly where it passed.

This is really amateur investigative work. Procedurally, the investigation went like this. First, the DOST-PAGASA’s Facebook page where I scrolled down-down-down to the early morning of 15 July, when Glenda passed through us.

Second, it was a simple matter of plotting the coordinates of the eye as it traversed the provinces of Quezon and Batangas from 3:00 to 6:00 in the morning. The coordinates are summed up as:

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18 July 2014

Why Typhoon Glenda was so Terrifying for Those in Batangas

A large part of a tree trunk rests on somebody's roof.

Those of us who live anywhere between Lipa and Sto. Tomas here in Batangas – give or take a few municipalities – will be a tad more appreciative if we are not already of the terror that must have engulfed those who had to sit out the passing of last November’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, a.k.a. Yolanda.

Typhoon Glenda, which passed by early in the morning of last Wednesday, has got to be among the most terrifying to have crossed these parts in recent memory.

Glenda – international code name Rammasun – stole into our neighbourhoods in the deep of the night, catching most of us probably off-guard. The previous night’s weather alerts pegged the typhoon as travelling at 19kph in the general direction of Metro Manila. It was, therefore, expected in the capital around midday.

Because, in nautical terms, the metropolis is just a stone’s throw away from where we live, it would have been reasonable for those of us who stayed up for the late night news programs to have expected Glenda’s winds to commence at least when there was daylight already of Wednesday.

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07 April 2014

Domeng is Weird Not Because It is an April Storm

Those who live in the Philippines know that April is when you normally plan for a vacation to escape the summer heat. Bright sunshine, cloudless skies and temperatures in the mid-thirties Celsius are more characteristic of the April than having weather disturbances in the neighbourhood.

An announcement from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that a tropical disturbance that recently spawned in the Western Pacific was heading for the country, therefore, raised not just a few eyebrows.

Tropical Depression ‘Domeng’ – international code name ‘Peipah’ – entered the so-called Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Sunday afternoon as an off-season storm.

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16 November 2013

Yolanda: Changing the Worst-Case Scenario

Just like most everyone else, I have been reading a whole assortment of literature that predictably came out in the aftermath of Super-Typhoon Haiyan, a.k.a. Yolanda in the Philippines. I have seen the praises, the rants, the counter-rants; even the petty Korina Sanchez-v-Anderson Cooper spat.

Not being on the ground and having been primarily dependent on media reports on what has been happening on-site, I have chosen to reserve judgment on the matter of the government’s response efforts.

I have wracked my brain for ways by which the scale of the tragedy that unfolded before our very eyes right from the day Yolanda crossed the archipelago might have been avoided. I have found none. Nature, when it throws a fit, invariably wins.

Short of evacuating everyone along the super-typhoon’s path, which was logistically impossible, anyway, the result always was going to be that devastation in terms of loss of lives and infrastructures would be massive.

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09 November 2013

Notes on Super-typhoon Yolanda

Because I am a hobbyist weather-watcher, I was aware of Yolanda forming in the South Pacific earlier than most people. Typhoon2K was predicting it to be a significant howler even when it was still in infancy as a low pressure area.

When it was reported that PAGASA was due to name the system Yolanda once it entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility, I was horrified! I still carry memories of roofs being torn from off houses in the Air Force base where we lived when I was a small boy by another Super-typhoon which crossed the country back in 1970.

The name of that super-typhoon? Yoling.

PAGASA retires the names of really destructive typhoons; and I sincerely felt that the agency could have done better than the name Yolanda. Yoling is retired, of course; but everyone knows it to be a local nickname for what else but Yolanda. This is just me being superstitious.

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19 August 2013

Maring, the Monsoon and a Ridiculously Rainy Day

Two weeks ago, I made an arrangement to meet with my sister in Alabang today. To the text message, I almost absent-mindedly appended, ‘weather permitting.’ Of course, at the time, I had absolutely no idea how prophetic the additional phrase would become.

I checked the satellite photo last night as I always do the night before a trip. There was this big yellow lump of cloudiness approaching from the west, apparently being sucked in by tropical storm ‘Maring.’

I was not too alarmed. Yellow in PAGASA’s color coding is no real cause for alarm, Red and black are. I was reasonably certain that that lump would have passed over with plenty of time to spare for my morning trip.

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26 July 2013

Snow in the Philippines Hoax

The other day, somebody shared a YouTube video on my Facebook wall entitled ‘Bizarre Phenomenon: Snowfall Visits Tropical Country Philippines.’ And I was, like, yeah-yeah dream on! Some people just have too much time on their hands.

So in annoyance more than anything, I commented below the link with the first word that came to my mind: “Hoax!”

Seeing my rejoinder, the guy who shared the link asked, “If this is not snow, then what is it?” To which I replied, “My guess is that it’s BS.”

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29 June 2013

Gorio: Who Got the Storm Track Right?

I will be the first to say that this is past the stage of being a matter of life and death; if at all it ever was, because tropical storm ‘Gorio’ – international code name ‘Rumbia’ – was not even strong enough to warrant a ‘typhoon’ categorisation.

It is a matter of curiosity that PAGASA’s tracking of Gorio did not seem to agree with those of several international weather stations; and not least because several government agencies are dependent on what PAGASA had to say on the matter.

The last update I read at the PAGASA web site last night before going to sleep was an 11 o’clock statement that said that Gorio was 40 kilometres northeast of Calapan City in Oriental Mindoro. This, in nautical terms, is right in the neighbourhood.

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06 December 2012

A Killer Typhoon Named Bopha/Pablo

It’s just one of those things about me that I can’t really explain. For many years now, I have really been fascinated by the weather. I have no formal training in meteorology; but over the years, I have come to attain a reasonable appreciation of tropical weather, particularly that pertinent to the Philippines.

I visit everyday without fail two weather web sites. PAGASA is the government web site at http://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/. The web site’s reporting has improved by leaps and bounds under the Aquino administration; but if I may offer some unsolicited but constructive criticism, the problem with PAGASA’s web site is that its reporting on tropical disturbances rather tends to pick up only after these enter what is called the Philippine Area of Responsibility or what is known as the PAR.

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01 November 2012

Between Sandy and Pinoy Storms

I was riveted to CNN the other day just after Hurricane Sandy made landfall somewhere over New Jersey in the United States East Coast. Just as with Katrina a few years back, there was a certain fascination in how the most powerful nation in the world braced itself and attempted to cope with something that we who live along typhoon alley know comes dime-a-dozen in the Philippines.

Sandy, as everyone who watches the news knows, has been called anything from the ‘Superstorm’ to the cheekier ‘Frankenstorm.’ First of all, the expanse of it was frightening – more than 1,500 kilometres in circulation or three times the size of tropical storm Ofel which ravaged the Philippines just a few days back.

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26 October 2012

Ofel and Floods in Lipa

So ok! Tropical storm Ofel, internationally named Son-Tinh, did not really pack a lot in terms of a punch and had – when it crossed just to the south of the island of Mindoro yesterday – something like maximum sustained winds of 85 kph near the centre and gusts of up to 100 kph. Technically, it was not even a typhoon and was – in weatherman parlance – only a severe tropical storm.

But Mindoro is close enough in nautical terms to Batangas; and Ofel had a middle-sized rain circulation of about 500 kilometres. That was why yesterday afternoon until night-time, it rained and rained and rained. It was by no means hard rain; and we have all seen worse. It was just incessant, pattering on the roof like forever!

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