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Who are the Weather Wizards of the Philippines?

15 September 2022
Who are the Weather Wizards of the Philippines

No, they are not the Filipino counterparts of Harry Potter. Rather, our weather wizards are our official source of the answer to every student's favorite question as soon as the rain comes: "May pasok ba?" Admit it, you're guilty of asking this question at least once in your life! So to save you time and effort, let us introduce you to the gang. Here are the websites where to get reliable information during typhoons.

 

1. PAGASA or Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration

 

Try saying this name five times and you might just get a new tongue twister, so better call them by their acronym, instead. But don't get your hopes high, alright? Kidding aside, this agency of the Philippines is in charge of the study and forecast of the behavior of the weather over the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

 

According to a United Nations website, the official function of the Philippine atmospheric geophysical and astronomical services administration (PAGASA) is to give flood and typhoon warnings and updates to the public, including weather forecasts and advisories; as well as all meteorological, climatological, astronomical and other specialized information and services to protect the lives and properties to support the Filipinos' economic, productivity and sustainable development of the entire Philippines.

 

In essence, they provide a lot of relevant information and that leaders of the local government units and of the national government offices use to plan operations before, during, and after unpreventable situations such as a tropical storm, tropical cyclone, southwest monsoon, and even time and date of the typhoon's landfall.

 

To get a better picture, PAGASA is the Philippines' government agency that can decide whether rains or inclement weather is enough to have class suspensions, or if there are torrential rains, even temporarily close government offices.

 

2. NDRRMC – National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council

Have you ever experienced receiving text messages, or your phone suddenly sounds off in alarm, only to realize that it's from the NDRRMC? Don't get stuck with the many capital letters, but rather, let's appreciate these other weather wizards. If we rely on PAGASA for forecast before the typhoons arrive, then with this second level of weather wizards, they are already busy before--doing a pre-disaster risk assessment, during--coordination and preparation for the coming typhoon which includes the evacuation of people in high-risk areas, and after--which includes the response, rescue, and recovery to typhoon-affected areas such as the provision of supplies and potable water.

 

They also have local counterparts all over the country, which they tap into for faster implementation and communication. Both PAGASA and NDRRMC work on a national level, which then they cascade to the local government units of various provinces in the Philippines which PAGASA forecast predicts will be hit by typhoons.

 

3. Local Government Units

From the issued guidelines of the said department for weather concerns, it is then up to the local leaders spearheaded by the mayor to implement the suspension of classes.

 

On the contrary, there are also cases wherein the two national agencies let the mayor or governor of each city or municipality, or province decide whether access to schools or even local government offices is safe for residents in real-time or not. With this, the suspension of local government work, alongside public and private schools' classes can also be implemented.

 

4. School Personnel from Private schools

But on the off-chance that rain is not intense, the local authorities can only decide on public schools. In this case, the local government leaves the decision to cancel classes to the discretion of the personnel of private schools. If you or your children study in private schools, then it's best to refer to the official announcements of your respective schools.

 

How do our Weather Wizards reach the decision to have class suspensions for public and private schools

 

Our weather wizards use tools, technology, and expertise to gauge weather conditions so they can issue recommendations for public schools, private schools, and even government work, too. According to the details they have collected, they can reflect their findings on their report, which they augment with updates.

 

Hence to get you familiar, here are some terminologies they use in their issued guidelines.

 

WEATHER WIZARD TERMINOLOGIES

  • Severe tropical storm - a kind of tropical cyclone with wind speed of up to 87 to 117 kph / 48 - 63 knots.

  • Southwest monsoon (HABAGAT) - These are weather conditions composed of warm moist winds from the southwest region. They often cause heavy rains in the country from May to September.

  • Tropical cyclone - also commonly known as typhoon depending on location, this is a natural, non-frontal, synoptic-scale cyclone building over tropical and sub-tropical waters moving at an organized circulation at every level.

  • Philippine area of responsibility PAR - This refers to the smallest and innermost monitoring domain of the Philippines. Bound by imaginary lines, its exact dimension is connecting the coordinates: 5°N 115°E, 15°N 115°E, 21°N 120°E, 25°N 120°E, 25°N 135°E, and 5°N 135°E.

  • Landfall - This refers to the event when the typhoon hits the land after being over water.

  • Torrential rains - a technical term for a heavy downpour of rains which PAGASA classifies into color-codes

  • Inclement weather - another term to refer to severe rains, often with strong winds.

  • Affected areas of floods - as the Philippines is an archipelago, we are surrounded by bodies of water. Hence, there are flood-prone areas. Some examples are Marikina City, Valenzuela City, and parts of Cavite.

 

Daily Prophets of the Philippines: The MEDIA

Did you know there are also other forms of Weather Wizards? They are the media. Let's admit it, even before we go to the official websites of our local government, we often tap into their social media accounts first, just because it's easier. Sometimes, the media outlets would advise us which school levels still have classes, or which are automatically suspended. For example, for signal number one, it's mostly preschool and kindergarten classes that are canceled.

 

But if it's signal number two to three, the students from all levels, may it be elementary, secondary classes, senior high school, college students experience suspension of classes.

 

Locations Mostly Mentioned in the Media by Weather Wizards

When there are typhoons, do you often wait with bated breath whether the reporters would announce the list of names of provinces that cancelled classes? Well, here are some provinces and regions in the Philippines commonly mentioned when it comes to typhoons and class suspensions.

 

National Capital Region (NCR)

  • Metro Manila

  • Quezon City

  • Pasay city

  • Caloocan City

  • Las Piñas city

Northern Luzon

  • Ilocos Sur

  • Ilocos Norte

  • Isabela

  • Cagayan

  • Pangasinan

  • Tarlac

  • Bataan

Central Luzon

  • Nueva Ecija

  • Pampanga

  • Bulacan

Southern Luzon

  • Rizal

  • Camarines Sur

  • Bicol Region

  • Cavite

  • Batangas

Visayas

  • Western Visayas

  • Northern Samar

  • Cebu

  • Leyte

Mindanao

  • Surigao Del Sur

     

Lumina Homes Sites: A Safe Place to Start Your Investment

When the time of the year bring rains, one thing you need to check aside from the water levels, and the heavy downpour is whether you have a home that you are safe from flooding. With Lumina Homes, now you can be sure to own a cost-efficient house and lot in the Philippines. Lumina Homes choose communities away from the possibility of flooding, so you don't have to worry about water reaching inside your homes. You can visit its website or contact their authorized representative to learn more about their affordable house and lot for sale. For a flood-safe, all-weather-ready affordable house and lot in the Philippines, choose Lumina Homes.

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