Pagasa Mactan soon to have own data center
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Mactan will not be relying soon on the central office in collecting and exchanging data with national and international weather agencies.
Alfredo Quiblat Jr., chief of Pagasa Mactan, said there is an ongoing improvement in their weather bureau, including the construction of a data center.
Once the data center is completed, Quiblat said “the capability of Pagasa Mactan will be the same with Pagasa Manila. The usual practice here is we get the data from the central office.”
“With the modernization, we can soon collect data from different Pagasa stations in the Visayas and store them here in our bureau,” Quiblat told Cebu Daily News.
The operational upgrade of the Mactan weather bureau is part of the Pagasa Modernization Act signed by former president Benigno Aquino last year.
Quiblat said there is a need to construct a separate building for the data center to accommodate equipment and the data storage facility.
At present, Pagasa Mactan has 20 regular employees.
With the creation of a data center, Quiblat said an additional 20 employees would be hired to man the facility.
The construction of the data center is expected to begin next year, while the budget for the project has not been determined yet.
Other project lined up for Pagasa Mactan is the acquisition of a meteorological instrument calibration equipment capable of checking pressure, humidity and parameters of meteorology.
Three years ago today, a doppler radar in Guiuan, Samar was damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The damaged radar in Guiuan has affected the monitoring of typhoon approaching the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
After Super Typhoon Yolanda, Pagasa relied on meteorological satellite in monitoring the typhoons.
The doppler radar in Guiuan was totally rehabilitated this year with an estimated budget of P200 million from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) according to Quiblat.
The doppler radar station in Guiuan is under the management of Pagasa Visayas, which is headed by Engr. Oscar Tabada.
To improve weather tracking and daily forecast in the Visayas area, an additional radar stations were installed in Iloilo, Palawan and Northern Quezon in 2015.
These radar stations were funded by the Philippine government with an estimated cost of P100 million each.
“The doppler radar in Pagasa Mactan is enough to cover the whole Cebu province. Since this can’t reach the Iloilo area because of an obstruction in Kanlaon mountain, it was decided to place a separate radar there (Iloilo),” Quiblat added.
With these new doppler radars, Quiblat said that the weather forecast will now be more accurate and directly proportional.
After Super Typhoon Yolanda, Pagasa made some changes in typhoon categories.
Super typhoon was added in the classification system in 2015.
According to Pagasa website, super typhoon is a tropical cyclone with a maximum sustained winds of 220 kilometers per hour.
Quiblat said Pagasa also added the severe tropical storm in weather bulletins.
A severe tropical storm is a cyclone with a maximum sustained winds of 89 to 117 kilometers per hour.
Lawin was the last super typhoon experienced in the country after Yolanda last October 20 with a maximum sustained winds of 225 kilometers per hour with gustiness up to 315 kilometers per hour.
Pagasa also upgraded public storm warning signals to signal number 5 with winds expected to reach more than 220 kilometers per hour within 12 hours.
The first time a signal number five was raised was during Super Typhoon Lawin, which brought severe damage in Cagayan, Northern Luzon and Isabela.
Quiblat said that in Cebu, the strongest storm signal warning was during typhoon Ruping which was placed under public storm signal number 4.
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