The country remains storm-free on the last day of the month but the presence of the Tail-End of a Cold Front and Northeast Monsoon will continue to unleash rains in several parts of Luzon.

The Tail-End of a Cold Front is the extension of a frontal system, where cold air dominates the warm air mass. The convergence of winds with different characteristics can form convective clouds that will bring rains in affected areas. MEanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon or Hanging Amihan is composed of cold and dry air coming from the Mainland China or Siberia.

In the next hours, cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms will be experienced in Bicol Region and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon. Cagayan Valley will have cloudy skies with light rains, while the rest of the country can expect partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, the surge of Amihan prompted PAGASA to raise a gale warning in the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon, where fishing boats and other small seacraft are alerted against moderate to rough sea conditions.

March Weather Overview

As we step into another month, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Chris Perez said that at least one Tropical Cyclone is expected to develop or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) in March. A cyclone may hit the landmass, particularly in Visayas or Southern Luzon or it could move near the land but will spare the country and will re-curve away.

Rains, induced by three weather systems, will make flash floods and landslides possible in some parts of the country.
At 3:00 a.m., the Low Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated at 265 kilometers southwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. As the Tail-end of a Cold Front dampens the eastern sections of Southern Luzon and Visayas, the Northeast Monsoon brings rains in portions of Northern Luzon.
In the next hours, Bicol Region, Quezon, Palawan, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula will experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms that may trigger flash floods or landslides. In Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos Region, partly cloudy to cloudy skies will prevail with isolated light rains. In the rest of the country, including Metro Manila, partly cloudy to cloudy skies or generally fair weather can be enjoyed with possible isolated rain showers.
Gale warning is still hoisted in the northern seaboards of Northern Luzon that covers Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, the northern coasts of Cagayan and Ilocos Norte. In these areas, fishing boats and small seacraft are prohibited from venturing due to rough to very rough seas.

Three days before the month ends, a weather disturbance was last spotted at 205 kilometers west-southwest of General Santos City, South Cotabato. In an interview with Panahon TV, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Meno Mendoza said that the possibility for the Low Pressure Area (LPA) to develop into Tropical Cyclone remains slim but it will continue to bring rains in several parts of the archipelago.

Bicol Region, Eastern and Central Visayas, and Caraga will experience cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rain showers and thunderstorms. MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula and the province of Quezon will have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. Residents of these areas are advised to be alert for possible flooding or landslides.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon, locally known as Hanging Amihan, is also dominant in Northern Luzon. Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Ilocos Region will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains. Mendoza said thatt the Hanging Amihan is expected to persist until mid-March and will gradually weaken in the next few days.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country can expect generally fair weather condition apart from isolated rain showers or thunderstorms. Thunderstorms often occur in the latter part of the da, when the accumulated heat forms convective clouds.

Moderate to rough coastal waters will prevail in Northern Luzon, the eastern sections of Central and Southern Luzon, Visayas and of Mindanao. Elsewhere, slight to moderate sea condition will be experienced, making sea travel favorable for fishing boats and other small seacraft.

Portions of the country will experience rains due to a Low Pressure Area (LPA) within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
At 3:00 a.m., this weather disturbance was spotted at 615 kilometers east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Chris Perez, the LPA has a slim chance of developing into a Tropical Cyclone. However, Caraga and Davao will still endure cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rain showers and thunderstorms that may trigger flash floods or landslides. Eastern and Central Visayas, and the rest of Mindanao will likewise experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.

Amihan, the cold and dry air from Siberia is also affecting Northern Luzon. This will bring light rains iin the regions of Cagayan, Cordillera, and Ilocos. The rest of Luzon, including Metro Manila, and Western Visayas can enjoy generally fair weather though localized thunderstorms are still possible.
In Luzon, temperatures are also expected to soar. In Metro Manila, a scorching 33 degrees Celsius air temperature is anticipated today.


A Low Pressure Area (LPA) was spotted at 1,105 km east of Mindanao. According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Sheilla Reyes, the said weather disturbance is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) anytime today.

The probability for this LPA to develop into a Tropical Cyclone remains slim, but as it moves closer to the country’s premises, its trough or extension will affect portions of Mindanao. Cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms will be experienced in the regions of Caraga and Davao.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon or Hanging Amihan will bring chances of isolated light rains in Ilocos Norte, Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands. Metro Manila and the remaining parts of the archipelago can expect generally fair weather apart from isolated thunderstorms in the latter part of the day. The Amihan also affects the sea condition in the northern and western sections of Northern Luzon, where rough to very rough seas are expected.

Scorching heat was felt yesterday in some parts of the country. Here are the highest temperatures recorded by PAGASA:

Cotabato City – 35.7 degrees Celsius
Zamboanga City – 35 degrees Celsius
Subic Bay, Zambales – 34.9 degrees Celsius

Today, warm and humid weather will persist in the eastern sections of Luzon and Visayas due to the Easterlies. While temperatures continue to escalate, PAGASA clarifies that the tag-init season has yet to be declared. Two of the major factors to be observed before the termination of the Northeast Monsoon include the establishment of High Pressure Area and changes in the wind pattern.

Pick up the newspaper or scroll through your favorite news site and you’re sure to encounter stories about the environment. In this age of technological advancement, a new awareness is emerging. If before, modernization meant bypassing Mother Nature in favor of human comfort, now it means minimizing our impact on the environment.

But even in reel life, environmental issues make for compelling drama. Watch these films that will inspire and motivate you to continue fighting for the green cause.
Avatar (Lightstorm Entertainment, 2009)

An epic sci-fi blockbuster movie that hit almost $3 billion worldwide, this film tells the story of the Na’vi people or blue-skinned sapient humanoids who show their deep appreciation for the environment—unlike the people on Earth who destroy the environment to fuel their greed.
Watch as Jake Sully, the human who eventually became one with the Na’vi, fight his own species who colonized Pandora, the Na’vi’s home.

The Day after Tomorrow (Centropolis Entertainment/Lionsgate Films/Mark Gordon Company, 2004)
If you’re a fan of disaster movies, this film, which describes the effects of global warming, is perfect for you. The film shows various disasters, which could be real: glaciers breaking, tornadoes, gigantic flashfloods, snowstorms and such. The visual effects are astounding, and will make you wish that these scenarios won’t happen to us in the future. According to scientists, though the disastrous events happening within a short time frame is far from probable, climate change may have such consequences.

Wall-E (Walt Disney Pictures, 2008)

Nowadays, animated movies are not just intended for children. An example of this is Wall-E that stars a small and charming robot of the same name. In the movie, Wall-E exists in a future where Earth is nothing but a giant landfill. Humans live in a space-cruise ship wallowing in obesity because of their lack of exercise and screen addiction. Tackling environmental issues, particularly waste and pollution, the movie shows how humans and nature are inseparable.

Before the Flood (Appian Way, 2016)

This documentary features Hollywood actor Leonardo Dicaprio as he journeys to different parts of the world affected by global warming. Disasters such as the melting of ice, drought, destruction of ecosystems, and severe storms show how human activities have impacted the planet. The film reminds us that we are all responsible for our future, and that it is never too late to be humane.

Trashed (Blenheim Films, 2012)

This environmental documentary features Jeremy Irons, an English actor, who discussed how waste pollution affected the environment. The film shows that landfills are not exactly fail-safe, especially if it contains non-biodegradables, such as plastic that pollute our bodies of water. But if we use the incinerator where we burn garbage, this process creates a very toxic substance called dioxin that’s hazardous to living things including unborn babies.
On the upside, the film teaches ways to lessen our wastes including recycling and upcycling. Through habit and discipline, it’s not too late to create a healthier future.

By Panahon TV Intern Hannaneel Mendoza

Warm and humid winds coming from the Pacific Ocean or Easterlies will continue to affect the eastern section of the country. Because heat and moisture are factors in cloud formation, it will also bring rains in several parts of the archipelago.

In the next hours, Eastern Visayas will experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms, mostly in the afternoon or evening.

No gale warning was issued today due to the weak Northeast Monsoon or Hanging Amihan. But according to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Meno Mendoza, it is expected to be in effect again this Thursday or Friday.

No weather disturbance or Tropical Cyclone is expected to enter Philippine premises in the next 2 to 3 days, but the public is still advised to keep monitoring updates from the weather bureau.

Meanwhile, PAGASA released the top 3 places that has recorded the highest temperatures yesterday due to the prevailing Easterlies.

The Northeast Monsoon or Amihan has weakened, leaving Easterlies, the warm and humid aid from the Pacific as the dominant weather system.
With the presence of Easterlies, Caraga and Davao Region will have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, the rest of the country including Metro Manila, can expect a generally fair weather only with chances of isolated rain showers.
Gale warning has also been lifted.

The increasing volcanic activities in the Pacific Ring of Fire have sparked speculations and concerns that a catastrophic disaster is coming. Based on the website Volcano Discovery, almost three dozen volcanoes throughout the Ring of Fire are currently erupting or showing unrest at this time. One of them is the Mayon Volcano in Albay. These volcanoes are exhibiting ash explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lava fountains, which are dangerous to the communities and animals around them.


Eruption of Mayon Volcano. Photo Courtesy: Letrato Photography


But these activities are normal, according to Yosuki Aoki, assistant professor of Physical Volcanology at the University of Tokyo. Aoki stressed that volcanoes typically go through active and inactive cycles.


Inextricably Intertwined
According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Center for Science Education, volcanic activities have an impact on climate change and vice versa. As the climate continues to deteriorate mainly because of man-made activities, these two can create devastating long-term effects on our planet.


Volcanic eruptions are part of the Earth’s natural processes. These happen when lava, gas, and other hot materials are thrown out of a volcano, or through its vent.


Its first stage happens when rocks inside the Earth’s crust melt, thus, producing magma, which is lighter than rocks. As magma fills the chamber, pressure builds. This pressure becomes intense when the chamber is already filled with thick and sticky magma, leading to an explosive eruption.


Volcanoes also release toxic gases during eruption. While water vapor comprises the biggest portion of gases released by a volcano, other particles such as carbon dioxide, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen fluoride, sulfur dioxide, and methane are also thrown into the atmosphere. These volcanic gases are harmful to humans, animals, and other living things. Aside from causing respiratory ailments, these may also inhibit plant growth.


Mayon Volcano Ash Explosion. Courtesy: Earl Recamunda / AP


On the other hand, a change in climate patterns, whether global or regional, is called climate change. It is largely attributed to the significant amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are produced by human activities and our negligence to protect the environment.


Global Climate Map. Courtesy: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Global Warming
Among the effects of climate change on our planet are global warming and cooling, rising sea levels, and the melting of glaciers. Global warming, which is the rise of the average global temperature in the last five decades, is caused by greenhouse gases trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere, which keeps heat from escaping.


A group of researchers from the University of Leeds in England studied the relationship of glaciers and volcanoes in Iceland. They concluded that there are fewer eruptions and lava volume when the climate is cooler, and the land has a thick glacial cover.


Iceland Volcanic Map. Courtesy: Google Images


Researchers also found that when there is a glacial retreat, the pressure between the glacial ice and surface decreases. Thus, it is much easier for magma to rise into the surface.


Another study led by British and American researchers and published in the journal, Nature, shows that massive amounts of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions triggered a global warming episode 66 million years ago. This event is called the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Scientists described the period as the “most rapid and extreme natural global warming event” in the last 66 million years. Almost 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions were from volcanic eruptions during that time. Large quantities of carbon resulted in its concentration in the atmosphere. An average global temperature increase of 5 degrees Celsius was observed for about 150,000 years.



Global Climate Through the Years


Global Cooling
Volcanic eruptions also contribute to global cooling. Often called as “volcanic winter”, volcanic ash and sulfuric acid in the atmosphere reduce the global temperature. This is because particles block solar radiation.


In 1991, Mount Pinatubo unleashed massive eruption after an almost 600-year slumber. Ash and particles ejected into the atmosphere reached as high as 34 kilometers into the stratosphere. Thousands of civilians living within the 30-kilometer radius from the crater were evacuated days before and during the event.


1991 Eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Photo Courtesy: PBS


During the June 15 climactic eruption, Typhoon Yunya struck the island of Luzon which brought wet ashfall to the entire island, and also affected several Asian countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. About 15 million tons of sulfur dioxide from Pinatubo went into the stratosphere, reacting with water to create aerosol particles, thus, blocking solar radiation. The aerosols scattered across the globe, and decreased the global temperature by about 0.6 degrees Celsius in the next 15 months after the eruption.


Tephra fall from 1991 Mount Pinatubo Eruption


Natural vs Manmade
The interaction between volcanic eruptions and climate is a natural process since time immemorial. The Earth has endured many effects from this interaction.


However, the main contributors to the current climate crisis are man-made activities. These factors have already surpassed the effects of natural processes that triggered past global warming and cooling events.


The negative effects of human activities on the planet may aggravate the interaction between eruptions and climate. However, we can minimize the effects of this deadly interaction if we change our habits, and show concern and care for our environment.


By Panahon TV Intern Kent Ryan Masing