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The low pressure area (LPA) monitored outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) has already weakened into cloud clusters. As of now, no weather disturbance is affecting any part of the country.

The ridge of a high pressure area prevails over Northern Luzon, bringing fair weather over Cagayan Valley, and the Cordillera and Ilocos Regions. Metro Manila and the rest of the archipelago will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

PAGASA Weather Forecaster Samuel Duran said this ridge will continue to affect the Philippines in the next coming days as we approach the official hot and dry season. The prevailing presence of the high pressure area causes rising temperatures in most parts of the country including Metro Manila.

MTSAT Image from JMA.
MTSAT Image from JMA.

Yesterday, a scorching temperature of 33.5 degrees Celsius was recorded at 1:50 PM at the PAGASA Science Garden, Quezon City. For today’s temperature, Metro Manila will experience 21 to 33 degrees Celsius while Metro Cebu can expect 25 to 31 degrees Celsius. A range of 25 to 33 degrees Celsius is expected over Metro Davao.

Avalanche forms over Afghanistan

More than 100 people have died in Afghanistan due to an avalanche triggered by heavy winter snow. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) defined an avalanche as a rapid flow of snow down a hill or mountainside. It occurs in certain times of the year particularly during the Winter Season.

Meanwhile, according to the National Disasters Association (NDA), the avalanche is derived from the French word “avalance” which means descent. It is a mass of snow, sometimes mixed with ice and debris travelling down the mountainside.

According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Samuel Duran, it is also called a “snow slide,” similar to landslide but instead of soil or rocks, snow and ice falls down from the mountainous areas.

Deadly avalanches in Panjshir province, Afghanistan

Due to the prevailing trough or extended cloudiness of the low pressure area (LPA), the CARAGA and Davao Regions will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms. According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Jun Galang, the said LPA has a slim chance of entering the boundary. However, continuous monitoring will be done by the weather bureau.

Screen shot 2015-02-26 at 12.04.55 PM

Meanwhile, the ridge or the extended part of the high pressure area (HPA) continues to affect Northern Luzon, bringing partly cloudy to cloudy skies over the regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have generally fair weather aside from possible isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.

To understand these prevailing weather systems, winds in a high pressure are associated with good and sunny weather. Fewer clouds are seen over the affected areas, thus, less chances of precipitation.

On the other hand, winds in a low pressure area are associated to rainy weather due to the presence of more clouds. LPA can form into a tropical cyclone or “bagyo” once it accumulates warmer air and higher humidity or amount of water vapor.

Dust storm affects UAE

The United Arab Emirates experienced a dust storm over the weekend. According to the National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), high winds whipped up the dust and sand, leading to road accidents due to the reduced visibility.

Cases of asthma and other respiratory illnesses also increased to 25 percent. Child asthma and Allergy Specialist Dr. Pierre Majdalani said dustry air can trigger cough, cold, ear infection, asthma, viral infection and influenza.

NCMS meteorologist Sufian Farrah explained that a dust storm occurs when wind speed exceeds 30 kilometers per hour with visibility dropping to 1,000 meters or less. Farrah added that dust or sandstorms are normal during this time of the year.

Image source: www.emirates247.com
Image source: www.emirates247.com

The Philippines became popular worldwide when the bloodless revolution erupted—the EDSA People Power’s Revolution that made history on February 22 to 25, 1986.

The event stemmed from a series of events that resulted from the dictatorship led by President Ferdinand Marcos. In 1972, when Martial Law was declared, various human rights were curtailed, especially of those who stood up against the environment.

When Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Sr., a staunch member of the opposition, was shot dead upon returning from exile on August 21, 1983, public sympathy was evident as thousands flocked to attend his funeral.

To legitimize his presidency in the midst of the increased clamor for justice, Marcos declared a snap election, which took place on February 7, 1986. Urged by the opposition, Ninoy’s widow, Corazon Aquino ran against the dictator.

Outraged by the supposed fraud that took place during the elections, various factions took action, such as the Reform the Armed Forces Movement that attempted a coup attempt against Marcos. But the move was pre-empted with Marcos capturing its alleged instigators. This led to Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces Vice-Chief of Staff Fidel V. Ramos withdrawing their support from the government.

The Catholic Church, particularly Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, called for Filipinos to gather in EDSA to lend their support to the rebel leaders. As the days passed, the number of people grew, amounting to millions.
Masses were also held in different plazas all over the country to pray for freedom. Meanwhile, the EDSA rally remained peaceful despite the threat of soldiers and tanks. Families came and food was shared, even with the soldiers tasked to subdue the public. Mini-concerts were even staged, featuring performers like the APO Hiking Society.

On February 25, 1986, Corazon Aquino took the presidential oath directed by Claudio Teehankee, the Supreme Court Associate Justice. Proclaimed as the 11th President of the Republic of the Philippines, Aquino was the first lady to hold the highest position in the country. The Filipinos rejoiced, celebrating the end of a dictatorship, and reclaiming their freedom.

29 years later, we asked today’s young people what they thought of this historical event:

“Edsa People Power Revolution is the convocation of every Filipino with one goal, to free our country from tyranny and oppression.” – Victor Juan, 23, Medical Claims Analyst

“Though I was not able to witness how our freedom was revived at that time, I would say that (EDSA People Power) it is very significant because I am experiencing the freedom that my fellow Filipinos fought for. Though our freedom is not absolute, still we continue to seek and fight for it. And by that historical event it became a constant reminder that we, Filipinos, can be united and to have a common goal for our country.” – Justine Ejanda, 24, Segment Producer

“EDSA I is a gallant story of how ordinary people come together to topple a powerful dictator through peaceful means. Though remarkable, I don’t think it deserves to be celebrated through a holiday since the supposed gains of EDSA I, which are democracy and social justice, have not been attained over the years. Millions of Filipinos remain poor as post-EDSA administrations fail to provide equal opportunity for all. Social justice remains unrealized since political power, until now, stays in the hands of the moneyed political families who benefit from bad electoral system.” – Emilee Olaso, 24, High School Guidance Counselor

The opinions may vary on the topic of the EDSA Revolution, but one thing cannot be denied: it is an integral part of our history, its lessons resounding across the decades.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 9.57.44 AMEdas

No weather disturbance is being monitored within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). However, due to the tail end of a cold front affecting the eastern section of Southern Luzon and the northeast monsoon prevailing over Northern and Central Luzon, some parts of the country will still experience rains.

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The tail end of a cold front is a weather system formed when the cold air mass dominates the warm air mass during wind convergence. It will bring cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms over the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Quezon province.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon, locally known as the amihan, will bring light rains over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, the province of Aurora, Ilocos Region and the rest of Central Luzon. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

Due to the surge of the amihan, gale warning is still up over the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboard of Northern and Central Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon and the Visayas. These include Batanes, Calayan, Babuyan, the northern coasts of Cagayan and Ilocos Norte, Isabela, the eastern coast of Cagayan, and the provinces of Aurora and Camarines. Catanduanes, the eastern coasts of Albay, Sorsogon and Quezon, Polilio Island, Samar and Leyte. Sea travel is risky for fishing boats and other small seacraft.

Since the peak of the amihan has already ended, here’s a comparison of the lowest temperatures recorded during the last year’s and this year’s peak:

Panahon TV Express0208

PAGASA Weather Forecaster Samuel Duran explained that recorded temperatures this year are slightly higher compared to 2014 due to the effect of the polar vortex which prevailed during the northern hemisphere’s winter season. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a polar vortex is a semi-permanent upper level circulation that normally resides near the north and south poles.

On the other hand, a cloud cluster was spotted outside the PAR but PAGASA Weather Forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said that it has a slim chance of affecting the country within the next three days. All are still advised to monitor updates from the weather bureau.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has been monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Weather Forecaster Jun Galang says it has a slim chance of entering the boundary so it will not have any effect in the archipelago in the next two to three days.

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 10.07.13 AM

Most parts of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with chances of isolated rain showers or thunderstorms. The tail end of a cold front, however, will affect the eastern section of Central Luzon, bringing cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms over the provinces of Aurora and Quezon.

Galang added that the amihan still prevails in the country, but this time it will just reach the northern part of Luzon. With this, gale warning is up over the seaboards of Northern Luzon due to the rough to very rough sea conditions. Fishing boats and other small seacraft are prohibited to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves.

Meanwhile, here are the lowest temperatures recorded yesterday:

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PAGASA Weather Forecaster Jori Loiz confirmed that the peak of the amihan has already ended. Thus, temperatures will gradually rise in the coming days as the amihan continues to weaken. Loiz also clarified that we may be experiencing the warm weather but PAGASA has yet to declare the official hot & dry season.

There are certain factors to consider before PAGASA declares the official onset of “tag-init” in the Philippines. These include the consecutive increase in temperature, the termination of the northeast monsoon, and the presence of the easterlies.

Kung Hei Fat Choi: MPD issues traffic advisory

In line with the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Manila Police District issued a traffic advisory. A float parade will be conducted today, February 19, 2015, at 2:00 PM. This parade will be traversing the following route:

– start at Juan Luna (Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz)
– left to Plaza Cervantes
– right to Quintin Paredes
– left to Sta.Cruz Church
– right to Ronquillo
– left to Ongpin
– left to Sabino Padilla
– right to Quintin Paredes
– right to Ongpin
– left to Sabino Padilla
– left to Soler
– left to Reina Regente
– end point at Reina Regente (Lucky Chinatown)

Heavy traffic is expected within the Binondo area so motorists are advised to take the following alternative routes: McArthur Bridge, Quezon Bridge and CM.Recto Avenue.

Know more about the celebration of the Chinese New Year.

People of Chinese descent are scattered all over the world. With the current census pegging their number at around 1.35 billion, they make up roughly 20% of the world’s population.

Here in the Philippines, the Chinese hold great cultural influence, having lived in the country even before the Spaniards arrived in the 15th century. Consequently, Chinese traditions and customs have now blended with Filipino culture.

Ongpin and the other major streets of Binondo, considered one of the oldest Chinatowns in the world, are gearing up for their grandest affair—the Lunar New Year, also known as the annual Spring Festival in other parts of the world

This year, February 19 marks the beginning of the Year of the Wood Sheep. The date of celebration varies each year, between the months of January and February. Though the Chinese celebrate their New Year in various locations, depending on where they reside, the principles and elements basically remain the same.

THE COLOR RED

Image source: http://www.inool.com/
Image source: http://www.inool.com/

During this holiday, red becomes the predominant color in welcoming the New Year. People decorate their houses with red lanterns and paper cutouts. People also dress up in red as it symbolizes good fortune.

TIKOY

Image source: www.pacifiqa.com
Image source: www.pacifiqa.com

Nián Gāo to the Chinese, tikoy is the Filipino version of the sticky rice cakes only available during this time. This traditional food embodies close familial ties. That’s why the tikoy remains a prominent fixture on the dining table as the whole family welcomes the New Year.

ANG PAO

Image source: taipeicitydailyphoto.blogspot.com
Image source: taipeicitydailyphoto.blogspot.com

Ang Pao, a small red envelope with Chinese characters filled with money, is one of the most common gifts given during the Spring Festival. These are usually given to children or placed above the houses’ doors as offering for the dancing lions. Ang Pao symbolizes prosperity and abundance in the coming year.

LION AND DRAGON DANCE

Image source: http://epicstreet.blogspot.com/
Image source: http://epicstreet.blogspot.com/

During the Lion and Dragon Dance parade, the streets are filled with the sounds of drumbeats and cymbals. The dragon dance ceremony is believed to ward off bad spirits and is associated with good luck, wisdom and power.

FRUIT BASKET

Image source: fruitbasket.yolasite.com
Image source: fruitbasket.yolasite.com

Small oranges known as kiat-kiat and other round fruits are known to symbolize prosperity and good health.

CHARMS AND OTHER TRINKETS

Image source: www.pacifiqa.com
Image source: www.pacifiqa.com

Lucky charms in the form of pendants, bracelets, rings, figurines and other merchandise are believed to protect the wearer from bad omen, and bring good luck.

FIRECRACKERS

Image source: kkawan.blogspot.com
Image source: kkawan.blogspot.com

Making noise and lighting firecrackers is also one of the most important customs in celebrating the Chinese New Year across the globe. In Chinese mythology, people learned that Nian, a mythical beast known to eat livestock, crops and humans, fears loud noises and the color red. Thus, people put up red lanterns and light firecrackers to scare away the beast.

GREETINGS

Feb 19_Chinese New Year_Study 6
For generations, it has been customary for people to wish each other good luck and happiness in the coming year. In the Philippines, the Chinese-Filipino communities use Hokkien and greets with Kiong Hee Huat Tsai. The Cantonese version, Kung Hei Fat Choi, is dominant in Hongkong. Meanwhile, the Mandarin version is Gong Xi Fa Cai. All these roughly translate to “Congratulations and be prosperous.”

On a side note, Malacañang has declared February 19, the Chinese New Year, as a special non-working day and a special holiday for all schools nationwide.

In line with this, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reminds employers “to provide the mandatory holiday pay to workers who will report for work on Thursday.”

The tail end of a cold front is now affecting the eastern section of Northern Luzon. This is the boundary where cold and warm air meets, resulting to precipitation. In effect, Cagayan Valley will have cloudy skies with the possibility of light to moderate rain showers.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila, Ilocos, Cordillera and Central Luzon will have isolated light rains.

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Good weather condition is expected over the rest of the country, aside from the possible occurrence of drizzle.

PAGASA Weather Forecaster Meno Mendoza said there is an LPA (low pressure area) outside PH boundary. This will have no direct effect on PH weather but its cloudiness is extending over Mindanao area.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is being observed today, February 18, 2015, which marks the Lenten season.

Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church. Ash Wednesday is part of the Catholic preparation for Christ’s Resurrection on Eastern Sunday. This is the season of penance, reflection and fasting.

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A low pressure area (LPA) is being monitored outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), below the Philippines.

State Meteorologist Jori Loiz said the good news is, it is not expected to enter PAR and has a possibility of dissipating. However, its trough, or the extension of the LPA, affects Mindanao today.

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In PAGASA’s latest weather forecast, Mindanao will experience light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.

At the same time, the northeast monsoon returns to affect extreme Northern Luzon, bringing cloudy skies and light rains over the regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos.

The remaining parts of the country, including Metro Manila, will be partly cloudy to cloudy, bearing fair weather conditions.

Meanwhile, temperatures are not as cool as the past few weeks. Loiz says although the northeast winds still affect the country, it will slowly wind down in the following weeks. Its influence on the country’s weather usually lasts up to late March. In 2014, PAGASA officially declared the termination of the Amihan Season on March 26.

WEATHER CONDITION: RAINY OR FAIR?

Today, Panahon TV delivered a trivia on how to determine if it will rain in the next few hours by the type of clouds seen in the skies. Loiz, in today’s interview, shares which clouds also herald fair weather conditions. See the video here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=863142510396255&set=vb.441729975870846&type=2&theater

Expect a warm and humid Monday as the easterlies prevail over the eastern sections of Northern and Central Luzon.

Coming from the Pacific, th easterlies cause hot weather and generate thunderstorms, affecting the eastern sections of the country where they will bring rains, mostly during the latter part of the day.

In the latest weather forecast, PAGASA said the regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Ilocos, Central Luzon and the province of Quezon can expect cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers today.

The remaining parts of the country, including Metro Manila, can enjoy fair weather apart from localized thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, State Meteorologist Gener Quitlong said in an interview with Panahon TV that the Low Pressure Area outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility has dissipated.

In this case, the country remains free from any weather disturbance. Also, no gale warning has been raised by PAGASA today.

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NATIONAL ASTRONOMY WEEK

Starting today until Friday, February 20, PAGASA celebrates the National Astronomy Week with the theme, “Reaching our People: Transferring Knowledge in Astronomy”.

Among this year’s activities are free planetarium shows and telescoping sessions at the Science Garden and the Observatory, respectively.

The Star Party Contest for High School Level is also slated in Laoag City where a seminar / workshop will also be held for public school Science Teachers.

The planetarium shows will be conducted from 8 AM to 5 PM daily as the telescoping sessions and lecture starts 7 PM nightly at the Observatory. All activities will be on a first-come, first-served basis.