PAGASA redefines 'super typhoon', revises wind signals

Ariel Rojas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2022 01:24 PM | Updated as of Mar 23 2022 01:39 PM

Residents walk near damaged homes in the coastal town of Tubigon, Bohol, one of the hardest hit provinces of typhoon Odette on Dec. 28, 2021. Aica Dioquino, OVP handout/File 
Residents walk near damaged homes in the coastal town of Tubigon, Bohol, one of the hardest hit provinces of typhoon Odette on Dec. 28, 2021. Aica Dioquino, OVP handout/File 

MANILA — State weather bureau PAGASA on Wednesday revised its definition of a "super typhoon" and its system for alerting the public on the wind strength of tropical cyclones. 

A super typhoon packs maximum sustained winds of at least 185 kilometers per hour, based on PAGASA’s revised definition. 

Previously, PAGASA defined a super typhoon as a tropical cyclone with more than 220 kph maximum sustained winds. 

The new definition is similar to the USA Joint Typhoon Warning Center's super typhoon classification, when converted to 10-minute averaging. 

PAGASA introduced this category in 2015 to better reflect the potential dangers of super typhoons like Yolanda, the strongest storm to ever hit land, which left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across central Philippines in 2013. 

The state weather bureau also amended its tropical cyclone wind signals, which now correspond to the following categories. 

Tropical Depression 
Less than 62 kilometers per hour maximum sustained winds 
Highest wind signal: 1 

Tropical Storm
62-88 kph maximum sustained winds 
Highest wind signal: 2

Severe Tropical Storm 
89-117 kph maximum sustained winds 
Highest wind signal: 3 

Typhoon 
118-184 kph maximum sustained winds 
Highest wind signal: 4 

Super Typhoon 
185 kph or higher maximum sustained winds 
Highest wind signal: 5 

PAGASA also decommissioned the names of 3 destructive storms in 2021, including Jolina, Maring, and Odette

From 2025, they will be replaced with the names Jacinto, Mirasol, and Opong, respectively.


 

PAGASA retires the names of tropical cyclones that cause 300 or more deaths, or at least P1 billion of damage to agriculture and infrastructure. 

Forty-seven typhoon names have been decommissioned since the naming scheme was introduced in 2001.