Pagasa bares 5 new storm categories

By Ding Cervantes, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 16 2015 07:48 AM | Updated as of May 16 2015 03:48 PM

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has adopted a new system of classification of weather disturbances, which are immediately reflected in initials preceding the name of cyclones.

In a forum held by the Capampangans in Media, Inc. here, PAGASA weather division chief Esperanza Cayanan said the new classification system took effect this month.

Cayanan said cyclones are now classified into five categories, namely, tropical depression (TD) with wind velocity of about 61 kilometers per hour, tropical storm (TS) with wind velocity of 62 to 88 kph, severe tropical storm (STS) with wind velocity of 89 to 117 kph, typhoon (TY) with wind velocity of 118 to 220 kph, and super typhoon (STY) with wind velocity of at least 220 kph.

Cayanan said the initials of the categories would, from now on, be affixed before the name of a cyclone. “Thus if the name of a super typhoon is Dodong, it would be referred to as STY Dodong in advisories,” she said.

She noted, however, that public storm warning signals, which indicate the wind velocity forecast of a weather disturbance for a certain period, would remain the same.

Thus, signal no. 1 would be used to warn the public of wind velocity of 30 to 60 kph in the next 36 hours, signal no. 2 for 61 to 120 kph wind velocity within 24 hours, signal no. 3 for 121 to 170 kph wind velocity within 18 hours, signal no. 4 for 171 to 220 kph within 12 hours, and signal no. 5 for wind velocity of 220 kph or more within 12 hours.

“But we can raise the signal alert shorter than the time projections,” Cayanan said.

She added that the El Niño phenomenon is expected to affect the country in the coming months, even as she cited forecast that the country would be experiencing more weather disturbances by the last quarter of this year.

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