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A brewing tropical cyclone and the Northeast Monsoon or Amihan will dump rains in most parts of the country as we observe the annual All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day or Undas.
 
At 3:00 AM today, the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was spotted at 125 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte. According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong, the LPA is forecast to hit Visayas and Northern Palawan. It may also intensity into a tropical cyclone before exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Meanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon is dominant in Northern Luzon.
 
Today, Aurora, Quirino and Quezon will experience cloudy skies with scattered light to moderate rains and thunderstorms. Visayas and the regions of MIMAROPA, Bicol, Caraga, Davao, Northern Mindanao and the rest of CALABARZON will have cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms. In Metro Manila, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Cordillera and the rest of Cagayan Valley Region, cloudy skies with light to moderate rains will prevail. In Ilocos Region and the rest of Central Luzon, partly cloudy to cloudy skies will be experienced with isolated light rains. In the rest of Mindanao, partly cloudy to cloudy skies will prevail with possible isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
 

 
Those who will flock to cemeteries across are encouraged to bring umbrellas as rains are likely to continue until Friday. Here’s the special weather outlook for Undas 2017:
 

 

 

 

 
Dig out your jackets and blankets because the Northeast Monsoon season is finally here!
 
The Northeast Monsoon, locally known as Amihan is characterized by cold and dry air coming from Mainland China or Siberia. During this season, low temperatures are observed; cirrus clouds also dominate the sky, which cause fair weather only with possible light rains. The Amihan usually peaks between January and February.
 
In a press statement, PAGASA said that gradual cooling of the surface air temperature in the northeastern part of Luzon has been observed. The Northeast Wind Flow is expected to intensify and become dominant in most parts of the country, bringing cold and dry air.
 

 
WEATHER TODAY
 
On the last Monday of October 2017, three weather systems prevail. These include a Low Pressure Area (LPA) which was located 625 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which may bring rains in Palawan and Mindanao; and the Northeast Monsoon, which causes rains in Northern Luzon.
 
Today, Caraga, Davao, Soccsksargen and Aurora will experience cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains will affect the regions of Cagayan Valley, Ilocos and Cordillera. In the rest of the country including Metro Manila, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with possible isolated rain showers or thunderstorms will be experienced.
 

Jeepneys have been a common means of travel and transportation for Filipinos since the American military vacated the country after World War II. From the hundreds of surplus jeeps sold or given to locals, the jeepney was born. Decades later, it continues to be part of our culture and everyday commute.
 
But as helpful as jeepneys are to the community, they come with their own risks. According to the Environmental Management Bureau, jeepneys contribute to 80% of the air pollution that harms the environment, commuters, and the drivers themselves. Most jeepneys are not well-maintained; some do not have working speedometers, signal lights, and even brake lights, which can cause road accidents and traffic build-up.
 
It is because of these factors that the Department of Transportation (DOTR) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) are proposing a jeepney modernization program, which aims to improve the country’s jeepney system. Last June, Secretary Arthur Tugade signed the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines in line with the country’s public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program. The pilot program will kick off in Metro Manila in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, and the rest of the country.
 
 
Here’s what the DOTr hopes to achieve with their program:
 

 
The images below are the proposed prototypes of modern jeepneys shown during the 1st Philippine Auto Parts Expo (PhilApex) last October 12, 2017.
 

Counter clock-wise: 1) e-jeepneys making it easier for people with disabilities to commute; 2) e-jeepney’s design similar to that of its traditional counterpart; 3) signs for jeepney stops; 4) beep cards as a mode of payment for jeepney fares.
 
DOTr also shares that prototype vehicles have a 22-passenger seating capacity or more, while the traditional jeepneys can seat only around 20 to 22 passengers, excluding the driver.
 

 
However, the implementation of the PUV modernization program is met with skepticism.
 
Abon Almares, a jeepney driver for 15 years, believes e-jeepneys are too expensive. “Tutol ako doon kasi yung mga mayayaman at may pera lang ang may kakayahang bumili niyan. Sabihin nating kalhating milyon ang ganitong jeep at dalawang milyon yung electronics, kung hindi ko na nga kayang bumili pa ng ganitong jeep at sa kikitain ko, paano pa ako bibili nun? Dapat ang iphase out lang nila ay yung mga luma na talaga at delikadong mga jeep.” (I am opposed to the modernization because only the rich can buy the new jeepneys. Let us say that the price of this jeep is half a million and the new jeep is two million; if I can’t buy this jeep with what I earn, how can I even buy the new jeepneys? They should phase out only the old jeepneys and those that don’t function anymore).
 

 
According to the DOTr, the PUV modernization program is not anti-poor with its rates of 6% interest and 5% equity. Aside from its 7-year repayment period, the government will give subsidies of PHP 80,000 for every unit to help with the downpayment.
 
But for jeepney driver Benjamin, the e-modernization is an insult to our culture. “’Di ako pabor kase iyan na yung kinamulatan natin parang ano yan eh, parang sagrado ‘yan.’Yan kasi ang unang tranportasyon natin ‘di ba, yung jeep. Kaya kung tatanggalin yan, maraming maapektuhan.”
 
(I am not in favor with the modernization because jeepneys are part of our culture and our first mode of transportation. So, if they phase it out, a lot of people will be affected.)
 
He’s also concerned with the fate of old jeepneys. “Ang tanong ko diyan, kung gaano rin katagal yung ipapalit nila? Anong mangyayari sa mga ipphase-out na jeep? Tutunawin ba yun ulit or saan nila itatapon? Tsaka akala ko ba nagtitipid sila ng kuryente? Mas lalong hindi sila makakatipid ng kuryente sa ganyan.”
 
(How long will the new jeepneys last? What will happen with the phased-out jeepneys? Will they melt them or dump them somewhere? Also, I thought they wanted to conserve electricity? They will consume more if they use it for the modernization.)
 
“Dapat pag-aralan nila nang husto. Hindi naman sa ayaw talaga namin yung upgraded mas maganda kung mapalitan ng ano kaso nga lang masyadong mabusisi. Sa kagaya ko kung hindi makakakuha ng unit, paano? Yung mga may pera, sila yung unang mabibigyan.”
 
(They should study this issue more. It’s not that we’re completely against it. It would be beneficial for us if it would be replaced but with due process. Also, they should study the details. How can a driver like me afford a unit? Those who have the money will be the first ones to acquire the new jeepney.)
 
The jeepney modernization program shows promise in aiding the community’s transportation problems. But for it to truly work, both sides must be willing to work together. When the issues are ironed out, everyone will benefit. Finally, the jeepney will be known, not only as “King of the Road”, but also a champion of the environment.
 
 
– By Panahon TV Intern, Czekinah Tolentino
 
 
Online References:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/department-of-transportation-philippines/14-things-you-need-to-know-about-public-utility-vehicles-puv-modernization-progr/982723368533466/
https://www.vecteezy.com/vector-art/134986-jeepney-in-the-summer-time



Severe Tropical Storm “Saola” (formerly known as “Quedan”) is now outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). It was last located at 1,495 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes. With maximum winds of 105 kph and gustiness of up to 130 kph, it is expected to move north-northeast at 25 kph.

As it continues to move farther away from the country, it is no longer expected to affect any part of the country. However, rains are more likely to prevail due to the presence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). This weather system is the boundary of winds from Northern and Southern Hemispheres, where convective or rain-producing clouds are formed.


A rainy Sunday is expected in Zamboanga Peninsula and the provinces of Palawan, Sarangani, South Cotabato and Davao Occidental. These areas will have cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, the Northeasterly Wind Flow will bring isolated light rains in the regions of Cordillera and Cagayan Valley. Metro Manila and the remaining parts of the archipelago will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.


Apart from the light rains, the Northeasterly Wind Flow, considered a precursor to the Amihan season, will also affect coastal waters. Gale warning is up in the seaboard of Northern Luzon and eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, where rough to very rough conditions are expected. Sea travel remains risky for fishing boats and other small seacraft as wave height may escalate to 4.5 meters.

 
Severe Tropical Storm Quedan, the country’s 17th tropical cyclone for 2017, has exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
 
At 11:00 AM today, the center of storm was at 880 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes. It has maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 130 kph. The storm is forecast to move in a north-northwest direction at 25 kph, moving toward the southern islands of Japan.
 
Today, the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITC), known as the breeding ground of Low Pressure Areas (LPA) affect Palawan and Mindanao.
 
Due to this weather system, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga and Palawan will experience cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms, which may cause light to moderate with occasional heavy rains. In the regions of Cordillera and Cagayan, the Northeasterly Surface Windflow or winds associated with the Northeast Monsoon or Amihan will bring partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains. Meanwhile, the rest of the country, including Metro Manila, will experience cloudy skies with possible isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
 


Severe Topical Strom Quedan continues to move over the East Philippine Sea and was last spotted at 795 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes with winds of 90 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 115 kph.


In an interview with PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez, it is expected to exit PAR tomorrow morning, moving towards Southern Japan. But another phenomenon is being discussed in PAGASA, he says. This is the La Niña or the above-normal sea surface temperature observed in the Central and Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean, which may result to a near-normal to above-normal rainfall in the county before the end of this year.



The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) or the area where winds from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres meet, will continue to bring cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms in the Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, and Palawan.



Meanwhile, due to the Northeasterly Surface Windflow, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains can be expected in the Ilocos Region, Cordillera, and Cagayan Valley. Metro Manila and the remaining parts of the country can expect generally fair weather apart from isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.



Gale warning is hoisted in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and of Visayas, where rough to very rough sea condition is expected.



The most wonderful time of the year is approaching! Many of us are already busy planning for the holidays by organizing parties and shopping for gifts. But another thing Filipinos look forward to during the ber months is the cool weather. Read on to find out more about what to expect as Christmas approaches.

1. “Is it sweater weather already?”
Keep your sweaters on standby! According to PAGASA, weather will gradually become cooler as the Northeast Monsoon or Hanging Amihan approaches the country. Temperatures will slightly drop especially in the Extreme Northern Luzon. Colder nights and early mornings may be experienced during ber months but the peak of Amihan usually occurs in January and February.

2. “How cold will it be these ber months?”
To give you an idea of how cold the weather may get, here are the expected minimum and maximum temperatures:



3. “How many typhoons can we expect for the rest of the year?”
Since the climatic condition in the Philippines remains neutral, the number of Tropical Cyclones that may enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) is also within the average range. For the month of September, 2 to 4 Tropical Cyclones normally enter the PAR, while at least one is expected in October until the end of the year. These are just the average numbers, and may still vary depending on the atmospheric conditions.

4. “Why are there more typhoons during the ber months?”
According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Chris Perez, the last quarter of the year is when the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) becomes dominant and usually oscillates to reach the Philippine premises. And because the ITCZ is a breeding ground of Low Pressure Areas (LPAs), the formation of weather disturbances also becomes a common scenario during ber months.

5. “What is the difference between Amihan and Habagat?”
Amihan, also known as the Northeast Monsoon, is characterized by cold and dry air coming from Mainland China or Siberia. It usually becomes prevalent during ber months, bringing cooler weather conditions. Compared to Habagat, which is characterized by warm and moist winds, Amihan brings light rains mostly in the northern and eastern portions of the country. However, both weather systems trigger rough to very rough conditions. When the surge of Amihan and Habagat transpires, gale warning is usually hoisted, urging fisherfolk to avoid sea travel.

6. “Why do typhoons hit the landmass during the season?”
Apart from colder weather, light rains and bumpy coastal waters, the Amihan also affects tropical cyclones. Due to its cold and dry characteristics, it may weaken the cyclone and may also drive it towards the landmass. Thus, tropical cyclones during ber months have a greater chance of making landfall.


7. “Why can’t we experience a White Christmas?”
“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas, just like the ones I used to know…”


This song perfectly complements the Filipinos’ longing to experience snow in our country. Unfortunately, unlike countries in the temperate regions, tropical countries like the Philippines, don’t have a winter season.

8. “Will it still be rainy during the ber months?”
In a La Niña Watch issued on October 20, 2017, there is a 65 to 70 % probability that a weak La Niña will develop in either late October or November this year, which may last through the first quarter of 2018. Above normal rainfall conditions are expected over the most parts of the country. La Niña is characterized by unusually cooler than the average sea surface temperatures (SST) in the Central and Eastern equatorial Pacific (CEEP).

9. “When is the longest night of the year?”
Mark your calendars for an astronomical event you shouldn’t miss before the year ends! The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year, where the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn. The solstice is derived from the Latin “sol”, meaning “sun” and “sistere” which means “to stand still”. This usually happens on December 21 or 22.

10. “What weather systems will affect the country ?”
Several weather systems are expected to prevail during ber months. These include the Hanging Amihan, ITCZ, the Tail-end of a Cold Front, Low Pressure Area (LPA) and Tropical Cyclones. Such weather systems will bring rains and thunderstorms. However, we may still experience fair weather, especially when the Ridge of High Pressure Area (HPA) becomes dominant.

The Tropical Cyclone outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) has intensified into a Tropical Storm and was given an international name “Saola”. It was last spotted at 1,405 kilometers (km) east of Southern Luzon, with maximum sustained winds of 80 kph and gustiness of 95 kph.

Moving northwest at 25 kph, PAGASA said it is expected to enter PAR within the day or tomorrow morning. Once it enters the Philippine premises, it will be given a local name “Quedan”. Though the probability for it to make landfall remains slim, its trough or extended cloudiness may still bring rains, mostly in the eastern section of Luzon and Visayas.

Today, the Intertropical Convergence Zone or the area where winds from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres meet, will continue to bring cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms in Palawan and Mindanao. The same weather condition is expected in Eastern Visayas due to the trough of “Saola”.

The rest of Visayas will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers, while Metro Manila and the remaining parts of the archipelago can expect generally fair weather apart from the isolated light rains.

Gale warning is hoisted in the seaboards of Northern Luzon, where rough to very rough sea condition is expected. These include Batanes, Calayan, Babuyan, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos provinces, La Union and Pangasinan. Sea travel is risky for fishing boats and other small seacraft.

 
Typhoon Paolo may have exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) but a new weather disturbance threatens the country.
 
At 3:00 AM, the Tropical Depression was located at 2,145 kilometers east of Mindanao. It has maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) with gustiness of 60 kph, moving in a northwest direction at a speed of 15 kph.
 
It is expected to enter the country’s premises on Thursday or Friday and will be given the local name Quedan. According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong, the Tropical Depression may recurve away from landmass but can intensify into a typhoon while within PAR.
 
This Tuesday, Mindanao, Western Visayas and Palawan will experience cloudy skies and light to occasional heavy rains due to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). In the rest of the country including Metro Manila, partly cloudy to cloudy skies will prevail with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.