Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration - Doppler Radar, Weather Stations and Other Equipment

Doppler Radar, Weather Stations and Other Equipment

PAGASA installed its first Doppler weather radar station in Baler, Aurora and another in Baguio. The new weather radars can monitor the typhoon and its movements, amount of rainfall either moderate or heavy and real-time atmospheric forecasts using a visual radar monitor, an example was that of Typhoon Basyang in 2010. Doppler radars are now used for weather warnings (such as rainfall) through Project NOAH since June 2012.

PAGASA has installed seven to nine Doppler radars in the country, currently operational stations are as follows:

  • Luzon: Aparri (in Cagayan, for upgrade), Baguio City, Subic (Zambales), Baler, (Aurora), Tagaytay (Cavite), Virac (in Catanduanes, the country's most modern radar facility);
  • Visayas: Mactan (Cebu), Guiuan (Eastern Samar);
  • Mindanao: Tampakan (South Cotabato), Hinatuan (Surigao del Sur).

Moreover, the weather bureau is now constructing three more Doppler radar stations in Busuanga (Palawan), Iloilo, Zamboanga City and another one in southern Palawan. It aims to have thirteen radar stations nationwide by the end of 2013.

Before Nilo's leave, an automated rain gauge was also installed in a telecommunications cellsite in Montalban, Rizal (in cooperation with Smart Communications) to monitor excess rainfall as a warning signal to avert the effects of flashfloods and landslides by using cellphones, the weather bureau plans to adopt its swift transfer of data from ground forecasting stations to main headquarters utilizing its automated data acquisition system modeled after Japan Meteorological Agency's AMeDAS in the near future as a solution to forecast inaccuracy and their problems. The Japan International Cooperation Agency will provide modernization programs to enhance the services of PAGASA include meteorology and flood forecasting, and tornado warnings as precautionary measures. Seven new Doppler Radars placed in different locations are scheduled to operate in June 2011.

In addition, the weather bureau introduced its Landslide Early Warning Sensor (LEWS) (recently invented by the University of the Philippines) to reduce landslide casualties in case of landslides. Using this new device, the sensor picks out signals in the form of computer data to show soil and ground movements and is transferred to the ground station immediately in an event of a landslide, and in order to launch forced evacuation. PAGASA hopes to install 10 sensors in five landslide prone areas by 2012, when it is tested and ready to bury on ground.

Another innovation to flood alerts was the adoption of an Automated Weather Station (AWS) designed to monitor amounts of rainfall and flood levels in case of an incoming warning, the AWS can be controlled by a computer even it is unmanned and a siren to evacuate people for emergencies. Few of the AWS units are installed in few points of the country and many more units will be installed to extend its coverage.

In 2011, Taiwan donated fifteen weather stations to the Philippines' Department of Science and Technology, and it has been reported that "The Philippines weather bureau will also share information from the new weather stations with Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, helping expand the range of Taiwan's weather forecasts." PAGASA and the Philippines Department of Science and Technology work jointly in the implementation of weather stations.

Read more about this topic:  Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical And Astronomical Services Administration

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