New Pagasa (Hope) Is Here

Manila Bulletin, October 18, 2010 | Go to article overview

New Pagasa (Hope) Is Here


MANILA, Philippines - (Editor's note: The weather forecast given every hour gives us more confidence and hope as noted by the author.)The first big test of our re-oriented storm trackers is "Juan" (or "Megi") that entered PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility) about 1 a.m. Saturday.ConsensusWith a difference or aid of: 1) US Joint Typhoon Warning Center that keeps feeding the storm's track to world cable TVs, 2) Hong Kong Observatory, and 3) Japan Meteorological Society.Friends in Taiwan and Hong Kong cower in constant fear if a strong storm strays with a curve north of Luzon's northern tip. It could make life more difficult in Taiwan or Hong Kong.Poor team workStorm trackers here have no theories or choices except to read carefully their tools of the trade. There's no nationalism in weather forecasting but team work.Storm forecasters in Hawaii predicted "Basyang" may, or would, visit Metro Manila and Central Luzon but our proud meteorologists ignored the whole idea and made a confident, irrevocable prediction that Isabela province was the only conceivable route.Without warning"Basyang" lashed Metro Manila without mercy and terms. President Noynoy could not believe Pagasa made a gross error. He ordered more new equipment, that typhoon warnings be made every hour on the hour (not every six hours as was Pagasa's old habit), and, most important, named a new set of forecasters. There was no further comment, except from TV and radio anchors who referred to the discredited forecasters' service for many years.Preparing for the worstThe super typhoon - named "Juan/Megi" - may pass over the provinces and cities in Northern Luzon. But let's prepare for a "curve ball" that could threaten Central Luzon and vicinity. Hong Kong Observatory's yellow line is below the danger paths of RP, the US, and Japan. But let's keep our guard for all extreme conditions.According to critics, the hourly reminder keeps them awake plus extra expense for flashlight batteries, big and small.More on pardon/amnestyThe US Constitution gives sweeping powers to the President "to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States" in non-impeachment cases. …

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