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As we welcome the month of June, we also officially bid goodbye to the Tag-Init Season as PAGASA declared the onset of the Rainy Season yesterday evening.

In a press statement, the weather bureau said that widespread rainfall has been observed these past few days. Most parts of the country are likely to experience near to above-normal rainfall conditions in June to July. However, breaks from the rains will occur, possibly lasting for several days to weeks due to the persistence of the Ridge of High-Pressure Area in the North Pacific.

In an interview with PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong, the following criteria for declaring the onset of tag-ulan have been satisfied:

– A total rainfall amount of 25 millimeters or more in three consecutive days which must be recorded at no less than five of these stations: Laoag, Vigan, Dagupan, Iba, Mindoro Occidental, Ambulong, Iloilo, and Metro Manila

– Widespread rainfall due to the prevailing winds brought by the Southwest Monsoon or Hanging Habagat

– Daily thunderstorm activity

To help you stay protected on rainy days, make sure you have the following:

While some parts of Luzon are already experiencing rains, PAGASA clarified that “tag-ulan” season has yet to begin in the country.
In a press conference held at the PAGASA Weather and Flood Forecasting Center on Wednesday afternoon, the bureau confirmed the start of the southwesterly windflow or weak habagat that brings rains in Palawan and Mindoro provinces. However, only three out of the eight monitoring stations of PAGASA under Climate Type 1 have satisfied the established criteria: a total of 25 millimeters or more of rain, with three consecutive days having at least 1 millimeter of rainfall per day.
According to PAGASA, the onset of rainy season may be declared between May 28 to June 8.
Here’s the report:

Now that the rainy season has arrived, expect that #NoLigo, will start to flood the social media as well—whether in jest or in all seriousness.
When the rains come bringing with it the cold weather, one is tempted to just burrow into the bed covers, forgetting all responsibilities, even the ones involving personal hygiene.
But is it really okay to skip showers during this season, since we don’t perspire and it’s extremely cold?
According to Dr. Karen Elysse J. Beltran of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, even if we don’t perspire, bacteria thrive on our skin. If that isn’t enough reason to still take showers on rainy days, Beltran also reminds us that during the rainy season, we are prone to respiratory diseases such as cough and colds, as well as diarrhea. Mosquitoes are also rampant during this season, possibly carrying diseases. That’s why poor personal hygiene may cost you your health.
Aside from taking a bath everyday, here are more tips to help you stay healthy this rainy season:
Eat healthy.
It is not advisable to eat street foods. Water and air-borne diseases are usually caused by food prepared in open-air food carts. It’s better if you cook food, especially fruits and vegetables, at home with the right preparation.
Wash your hands.
Your hands are a hotspot for germs and bacteria. Washing your hands properly before handling food—whether cooking or eating—ensures that you don’t ingest the nasty stuff that can cause diseases.
Always have a handkerchief with you.
Cover your mouth and nose with a clean hanky to protect you from catching or spreading diseases in crowded places.
Avoid sharing personal things.
Sharing your personal things like towels, soap, hairbrushes and clothes with other people also means sharing bacteria and germs.
No matter the season, we should remain vigilant about personal hygiene. Health threats come indiscriminately, and it is our responsibility to make sure that we’re always equipped to fight them.

– By Camille O. Javines, PanahonTV intern

If you’re a pluviophile or a person who loves the rain, you probably jumped for joy when PAGASA officially announced the onset of the rainy season last May 24. It’s also enough reason for ceraunophiles (people who are fond of thunderstorms) to celebrate!
But for those not too fond of rains, they often complain how rains could ruin their well-thought-of plans, especially for the weekend. The question remains: does it actually rain more on weekends?

rain 2

The verdict
According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Mr. Gener Quitlong, the weather doesn’t depend on any specific day, but on the prevailing weather systems, such as the easterlies or a low pressure area.
Rains can also be influenced by an area’s state of urbanization. The more urbanized a place is, the more manmade pollutants it has, which may influence the weather.
“Cities impact rainfall and can create their own rain and storms,” Dr. Marshall Shepherd, an Associate Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Geography at the University of Georgia in the U.S. explained.
But there may be some truth to the observation that it tends to rain more on weekends. Dr. Randall Cerveny of the Arizona State University, together with Geography Professor Robert Balling, examined rainfall in the Atlantic Ocean between 1979 and 1995 by analyzing global satellite data. Though the ocean tides were not affected by the day of the week, they found that the US was soaked during weekends. “Records from monitoring stations showed that levels of two urban pollutants, ozone and carbon monoxide, rose as the weekend approached,” Cerveny stated. On weekdays, human activities, such as daily commute and the use of heavy-duty office appliances are its peak, making the cities cesspools of pollution. This build up of pollutants may have taken effect by the time the weekend rolls around, giving rise to the possibility of rain.
But regardless if it’s the weekend or not, you know what to do this rainy season: bring umbrellas and raincoats, and most important of all, think of alternative and creative ways to enjoy your weekends in case it rains!
– By Angelyssa Lopez, PanahonTV intern


After the sweltering heat of the past few months, we now brace ourselves for rains asPAGASA declared the onset of the rainy season yesterday afternoon, May 24, 2016.

In a press statement, the weather bureau said that widespread rainfall has been observed these past few days. Winds, which previously moved from the east, have now changed from a south to southwest direction, indicating the shift from dry to wet season.

Due to the warm and moist characteristics of the “habagat” or the southwest monsoon, rains and thunderstorms will be frequently experienced in several parts of the country. However, PAGASA clarified that tag-ulan will be mostly experienced over the Climate Type 1 areas, covering the western parts of Luzon and Visayas.


Last year, the onset of tag-ulan was announced on June 23, 2015— delayed compared to this year. PAGASA Weather Forecaster Glaiza Escullar said there is nothing unusual with this because the rainy season normally occurs during the last week of May until early June.

“Mas maaga nga ito compared noong nakaraang taon dahil maaga ring nag-umpisa ang onset sa bahagi ng India, Bangladesh at Myanmar… at kapag nag-south to southwest na rin ang hangin sa bahagi ng China. South to southwest na rin po ang hangin lalo na sa western side ng ating bansa,” Escullar said in an interview with Panahon TV.

Meanwhile, here are the criteria for declaring the onset of tag-ulan:

– A five-day period within April, May, June or July with a total rainfall amount of 25 millimeters or more with three consecutive days having at least 1 millimeter of rainfall per day. This must be recorded at no less than five of these stations: Laoag, Vigan, Dagupan, Iba, Mindoro Occidental, Ambulong, Iloilo, and Metro Manila.

– At least two out of three stations in Metro Manila must have satisfied the first criterion simultaneously.

– Prevailing winds in the Western Philippines should have westerly to southwesterly components. The southwest monsoon,commonly known as hanging habagat, should also be the dominant wind system.

Although some of these criteria are yet to be satisfied, PAGASA decided to declare the onset ahead of time to prepare the public for heavier rains in the coming days. Escullar added that within the next three days, there is a big possibility that all the criteria will be observed.

Now that tag-ulan has arrived, all are advised to regularly bring umbrellas and raincoats. Know more about what to bring in “TAG-ULAN” Checklist: Rainy Day Essentials.

La Niña

El Niño is expected to return to a neutral condition by the end of July. But, there is still a 50% chance that La Niña will develop in the Pacific Ocean. It will possibly affect the country in the last quarter of 2016 (October- December).

Know more: El Niño to end, La Niña to follow?

Photo by: Joshua Allanigue
Photo by: Joshua Allanigue

Though we are already halfway into the month, there is still no trace of southwest monsoon or “hanging habagat” within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). According to PAGASA, habagat is characterized as warm and moist air that affects the country, particularly the western section. This is also one of the “tag-ulan indicators.”

It was on June 10 last year when the weather bureau announced the onset of rainy season. But as of now, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong said that the habagat has not yet been observed in the country. Though we are about to step into the 2nd half of June, the onset of rainy season might come a little late compared to the previous year.

Quitlong added that the ridge of the high pressure area (HPA) and the influence of the weak El Niño are just some of the factors for the delay of “tag-ulan.” He also explained that a low pressure area or tropical cyclone is needed to generate or direct the southwesterly winds towards the Philippines.

Today, the ridge of HPA continues to extend over Northern and Central Luzon while the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is expected to affect Mindanao. This weather system is an area where winds coming from the northern and southern hemispheres meet. As winds converge, clouds are formed, bringing rains over the affected areas.

ITCZ is also considered as the breeding ground of low pressure areas that may develop into tropical cyclones. However, Quitlong said that as of now, no weather disturbance is expected to affect the country within the week.

Based on the 24-hour weather forecast of PAGASA, this weather system will dump light to moderate rains and thunderstorms, not only in Mindanao, but also over Palawan and Visayas. The rest of the country, including Metro Manila, will have generally fair weather with the chance of isolated thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening. All are advised to bring umbrellas and monitor updates from PAGASA.

Watch the interview with PAGASA Weather Forecaster Gener Quitlong:


As we begin the countdown to ending another year, we take a look at the weather events that made 2014 memorable, weather-wise.

Situation: Tropical Cyclones

This year, a total of 19 tropical cyclones entered the PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility).

The first was Agaton, which made its entry last January 17. Though it was identified as a Tropical Depression, the lowest category for cyclones, Agaton caused severe flooding in Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao and the CARAGA region.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), 244,344 families were affected in more than a thousand villages in 16 provinces. There were at least 1,147 houses destroyed and more than one thousand partially damaged. All in all, damages in infrastructure and agriculture were estimated at more than 500 million pesos.

Trending Typhoons

From the 19 tropical cyclones that entered PAR, 10 were under the Typhoon category with wind speeds of 118 to 220 kilometers per hour.

1. Domeng
2. Florita
3. Glenda
4. Henry
5. Jose
6. Luis
7. Paeng
8. Neneng
9. 0mpong
10. Ruby

From these 10 typhoons, Ompong and Ruby could be categorized as Super Typhoons.

Entering PAR on October 7 and making its exit on October 11, Ompong, with international name Vongfong, was classified by the U.S Joint Typhoon Warning Center as a Category 5 Super Typhoon.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 250 kilometers per hour, Ompong—thankfully— did not hit the country as it re-curved towards Mainland Japan.

Related articles: Gazing into the Eye of 2014’s Strongest Typhoon
Strongest Typhoon for 2014 still inside PH


But Typhoon Ruby was totally different story. With the fitting “Hagupit” as its international name, Ruby entered the country’s boundary on December 3 and made its way out on December 11. With maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 250 kilometers per hour, Ompong made five landfalls.


First landfall: Dolores, Eastern Samar
Second landfall: Cataingan, Masbate
Third landfall: Torrijos, Masbate
Fourth landfall: Laiya, Batangas
Fifth landfall: Lubang, Island

The NDRRMC filed a total of more than four million residents affected in Regions III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, CARAGA and the National Capital Region. 18 deaths were recorded while injured persons reached up to 916. Ruby damaged mostly infrastructure and agriculture—the total cost amounting to more than 5 billion peos.

Due to its devastating impact, a state of calamity was declared in San Pablo City in Laguna, Batangas, Albay, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Naga City, Juaban and Gubat in Sorsogon, Sorsogon City, Aklan; Maayon, Dumalag and Panay in Capiz; and Northern and Eastern Samar.

Because fatal storm surges brought by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 made the public more aware of this weather phenomenon, Ruby kept Filipinos on their toes.

Coincidentally, while Ruby was inside PAR, an astronomical event happened. This was the Full Moon phase, which caused higher tidal variations due to our satellite’s strong gravitational pull.

Weather forecaster Chris Perez explained that higher waves were expected due to the combination of storm surge and the effects of the Full Moon.

Watch the Interview: Storm Tide

Scorching Season


PAGASA officially announced the start of the Hot and Dry season last March 26. Easterlies, the prevailing wind system during this time, brought hot and humid weather to the country.

Aside from the easterlies, this season’s indicators included the presence of the High Pressure Area (HPA), which brings good weather conditions, the termination of the northeast monsoon, and the increase in temperatures.


Upon the onset of the Hot and Dry season, the country undeniably experienced a number of scorching days that were especially evident in the Luzon area.

In March, Tuguegarao recorded a maximum temperature of 37.9 degrees Celsius. But its days got hotter in April and May, which brought in temperatures of 39 degrees and 39.8 degrees consecutively.

Meanwhile, the Science Garden in Quezon City documented a high of 36.7 degrees Celsius in May.

The Unpredictable El Niño


Within this year, the El Niño phenomenon became a hot topic during the hot season as PAGASA continued to monitor the ups and down of sea surface temperature.

From April 21 to 28, PAGASA recorded a substantial increase in the sea surface temperature anomaly from 0.2 to 0.4 degree Celsius. It was then forecast that El Niño might reach its peak in the last quarter of 2014.

But with the recent report from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, only weak El Nino conditions were observed in November and December.

Here comes the rain!


The rainy season in the country officially started in June 10. Before declaring the onset of this season, PAGASA first made sure that the following requirements were met:

• Daily thunderstorm activity
• Prevailing southwest monsoon
• 5-day period with a total rainfall of 25 millimeters or more in three consecutive days.

Come on, Amihan!


The Amihan season was officially declared by PAGASA on October 16. The northeast monsoon or amihan is the prevailing wind system, bringing light rains to its affected areas. It also has cold and dry characteristics, resulting to colder mornings.

At this time of the year, a gradual decrease in temperatures was observed in different parts of the country.


Winter Solstice

Winter season in the northern hemisphere officially started on December 22 this year. This also signaled the start of experiencing longer nights and shorter days in the Philippines.

During the winter solstice, the northern hemisphere leans the farthest distance from the Sun, causing longer nights and lower temperatures for those in the northern hemisphere. The opposite happens in the southern hemisphere where people experience the longest day.

Related article: Winter has arrived

Although a lot has happened this year, there’s more to come this 2015. So brace yourself for those inevitable storms, but remember to keep to the sunny side of the street. With all the changes the weather brings, one thing stays the same: the Filipino brand of resilience that knows no bounds.