Absence of typhoons likely to continue until March — Pagasa
MANILA, Philippines – The absence of a major weather disturbance for 2020 is likely to continue until the first week of March, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Thursday afternoon.
This was after no cloud bands or low pressure areas (LPA) that may turn into a tropical depression or typhoon in the coming days have been monitored.
“Generally magkakaroon pa rin tayo ng maaliwalas na panahon sa malaking bahagi ng ating bansa, at dito nga sa ating satellite imagery, wala rin tayong nakikitang anumang sama ng panahon o low pressure area na maaring mabuo bilang isang bagyo,” weather specialist Raymond Ordinario said.
(We will have generally fair weather in most parts of the country, and according to our satellite imagery we are not seeing any weather disturbance or low pressure area that may turn into a typhoon.)
“Ibig sabihin nito mula Enero hanggang Pebrero nga ay wala tayong naging bagyo na binantayan sa ating area of responsibility, at inaasahan natin ‘yan na susunod pang linggo ay maliit pa ang tsansa na magkaroon tayo ng bagyo,” he added.
(This means that since January up to February, we have not recorded or monitored any typhoon inside our area of responsibility, and we expect that in the following weeks that the chances of storms forming are low.)
While the lack of rains may be a good omen for people living near low-lying and landslide-prone areas, this may not bode well for the country’s water supply, especially that the dry season is fast approaching.
According to Pagasa’s dam information, Angat Dam’s water level is at 202.31 meters, down by 0.10 meters since Wednesday morning. This level is still 9.69 meters short of its normal high water level, which is at 212 meters.
La Mesa Dam’s level on the other hand is at 77.45 meters, down by 0.03 meters since Wednesday. While the decrease may be minimal, it is still 2.70 meters away from its normal high level of 80.15 meters.
Angat and La Mesa are Metro Manila’s primary sources of water, in the absence of new water sources. During the summer of 2019, water concessionaires were forced to ration and schedule water supply, and control water pressure after Angat Dam’s level went below the critical level of 160 meters.
The same scenario however is also being experienced in other dams, like the San Roque Dam in Pangasinan (21.95 meters short of normal high level), Ambuklao Dam in Benguet (3.97 meters short), Pantabangan Dam (22.39 meters short), Magat Dam in Isabela (19.90 meters short).
Despite the lack of weather disturbances, Pagasa said that rains may be possible in several areas in Luzon, including Laoag in Ilocos Norte, Tuguegarao in Cagayan, Olongapo in Zambales, Tagaytay City, Lipa City, and Metro Manila.
Temperatures are also seen to warm up a little bit, even as the northeast monsoon or Amihan still brings cold winds to the northern provinces of Luzon. Baguio City’s temperature is seen to range from 13 to 24 degrees Celsius, with Tuguegarao and Laoag’s temparatures playing between 21 to 31 degrees Celsius.
In Metro Manila, people can expect temperatures of 23 to 31 degrees Celsius.
Pagasa also warned residents of Visayan provinces, including the cities of Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, and Tacloban, of possible occasional thunderstorms. In Mindanao, mountainous areas may experience thunderstorms too due to warm and damp wind from the Pacific Ocean.
A gale warning has also been raised in the coast lines of Ilocos Norte, Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, eastern coast of Catanduanes, and the northern and eastern coast of Samar. This means that fisherfolk using small boats would not be allowed to set sail for the meantime.
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