Archive | December 20, 2011

Tropical Low Near Australia & Western Pacific Weather Update / 12Z 20 DEC 2011

The BOM has announced a Tropical Low just North East of QLD today, this area has the potential for development over the next 48hrs yet by Friday it is forecasted to be bombarded by vertical wind shear and weaken.
Meanwhile another low is developing near Darwin and brings the potential for heavy rainfall as it lingers in the region, this low needs more watching as models differ on where it will go or if it will develop at all.
And lastly across the Western Pacific today heavy snow continues in Japan while the PI sees fair weather as they continue to recover from the destruction caused by Washi.

Also here is a Cyclone Update from our Partners at, we will also have a update on this system this evening.

Lessons Learned From Washi / Sendong as Death Toll nears 1,000 in the southern Philippines.

The death toll in the Southern Philippines has topped 900 according to various news sources around the Southern Philippines. The destruction continues to mount in the region and countless people have been effected. Besides the deaths and injures over 100,000 people are estimated to have lost there homes. This seems to be a re-accuring occurrence in the Philippines not only this year but in years past.

So what do we learn after this disaster? First off I want to stress that my words are not directed to the people effected, the ones whose homes have been swept away and families have been destroyed, but to the government agencies and media outlets failing to get adequate word out.  Friday afternoon I was watching a feed from TFC and this approaching Tropical Storm was only mentioned in passing, behind all the flashy computer animations at that. My personal opinion this is unsatisfactory.  Maybe it is due to the fact that this storm was called Tropical Storm instead of Typhoon during it’s existence. Broadcasting is based on ratings also, and a Typhoon gets higher rates than a Tropical Storm, just a thought. If someone reading this is more inclined to discuss on that topic please feel free to share your insight or opinion.

With that said and with all do respect I feel the government did a big fail as well. And it all goes back to the fact that this storm maintained Tropical Storm intensity as it neared the PI. Many procedures are in place but don’t go in to effect until the word Typhoon is muttered. This is true despite the fact that heavy rain showers and flooding was obviously expected. Please go back to our updates on the 15th and 16th of December to see this. Not to mention I also feel PAGASA needs to re-vamp there warning procedures, the storm was already formed for nearly two days before agency picked up on it after entering it’s “area of responsibility”. Even a mention of a storm outside of there area would be  more useful.

These are my thoughts though and are not meant to point fingers at anyone, but I do hope that the people this article is directed towards sit back and think what did we learn from this? Although someone times Mother Nature does bring untold damage at the most horrible of times when you have hundreds of thousands of people living in a river valley this was bound to happen. Its nature and human population budding heads.

The Videos below give just a glimpse in to the destruction in the regions, but does not even touch on the human loss our hopes and prayers are with them and we hope that the region quickly recovers from this disaster.

If you have any thought or comments on this article please feel free to share them in the comment box  below.

~Meteorologist Robert Speta