Archive | November, 2014

Another knockout by Pacman…air pollution

Air pollution is a perennial problem in most large cities like Metro Manila, though it can harm us a lot, its an atmospheric problem not given priority unlike rain producing events.  Air pollution is difficult to manage and also very difficult and expensive to measure.

Using tiny lasers, we can measure the number of particulates in the air at a fraction of the usual costs, particulates are very small particles suspended in air and is usually used as a measure of air pollution.  Though the measurements I do in UP Diliman are not as accurate as the multi-million peso equipment used by the government for regulatory purposes, it can give us a good idea on the concentration of these pollutants.

Contrary to what most people might think, air pollution is generally worse during nighttime, this is because of the suppression of vertical wind that can carry pollutants away from the surface. Due to this suppression, pollutants accumulate until early hours of the following day (that’s when we see that early morning haze).  Soon after, when air starts to heat up because of the daytime sun, air pollution disperses away from us.

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Its been known that crimes rates and traffic in Metro Manila drops significantly during Sunday Pacquiao fights, and since traffic is a major pollutant source, it would make sense that the amount of pollution will be reduced as well, and in fact yesterday it did!

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compared to 2 other Sunday measurements (Oct 26 and Nov 9), which can be already considered as clean days, yesterday’s was still cleaner.  Compared to a weekday, I looked for a day with similar wind pattern as yesterday and found Tuesday of last week (Nov 18) to be very close, but afternoon concentration is obviously different. April 18, this year’s Good Friday, didn’t fair as well either, though I remember there were so many road reblocking that weekend it basically slowed down traffic and didn’t do much on reducing emissions.

Air pollution reduction – we can add this to the list of Pacquiao’s abilities.

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Westpacwx Meet and Greet 2014 has hosted an annual event since 2012 near the start of November where we bring together different meteorologist, weather casters, students and weather enthusiast across the western pacific for a meet and greet of sorts.


Each year we continue to expand the event with it starting from just being at a sports bar two years ago to ranging from tour of a TV station to PAGASA in 2013.  This year it is set to be even better than previous years.


Further more 2014 is extra special being the one year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan. In 2013 the event was hosted only one week after the massive typhoon struck the southern half of the country. The website showed there support providing donations and helping to share to the world the situation that was unfolding in the country


This year will be a more somber time. Members of the Westpacwx Team will attend Memorial services in Manila and Tacloban as well as chat with members of PAGASA and local news organization in regards to the storm and any advice on what we can do to help make a tragedy like that storm from not happening again.

Check here for more information on Fridays Event 

The big event will be on Friday November 7th at the University of the Philippines. Doctor Bagtasa was kind enough to offer the Auditorium at the college for us to use and give several presentations, lectures and most importantly a shared discussion.


The topics to be discussed will range over a wide area. This includes a seminar on DVORAK Techniques, In House Models at Westpacwx, next generation Satellite systems, typhoon warning systems, broadcasting workshop and much more.


Furthermore the team will gather after the conference for some drinks and food at a local restaurant. In short the whole day will be any weather geeks dream. O and its free!


Also be sure to stay tuned to the website throughout the week as we have a lot of other events planned, including a trip to several local TV stations in Manila, a tour of a radar site and some hiking at the Tagaytay Volcano.


If you want to meet with the westpacwx team as well let us know! I am sure we can set something up if the time permits. As always though thanks for staying with us and I hope you all stay safe out there.


Typhoon Nuri rapidly strengthens – Sunday evening update


JMA Track Forecast (02/1200Z)

Typhoon Nuri spent the day gathering strength at a rapid pace.  Per the JMA update as 1200 UTC (2100 JST), Nuri was located 975 km east-northeast of Virac, Philippines.  The typhoon continues moving north at 17 km/h.  Maximum sustained winds are estimated at 195 km/h with higher gusts up to 280 km/h.  (For comparison, the US-based JTWC–which uses a 1-minute average speed versus the world standard of 10-minutes–reported winds of 220 km/h with gusts of 270 km/h.)  The central pressure was estimated at 910 hPa.  Compared to this time yesterday, Typhoon Nuri has strengthened approximately 75 km/h and deepened nearly 65 hPa.  Nuri is approaching peak intensity and additional strengthening is possible on Monday.

JTWC Track Forecast (02/0900Z)

The good news is the near-term forecast keeps Nuri away from the Philippines and the Ryukyus.  The greatest threat to land appears on Wednesday night into Thursday morning where Typhoon Nuri will pass through the Izu Islands south of Tokyo.

Directing the path of Nuri is the subtropical high located to the east of the storm.  As Nuri traverses the western edge of the high, it will slow and begin a northeastward turn.  As we enter the work-week, Nuri will begin to see influence of the westerlies.  Model divergence occurs by Tuesday on the timing of these westerlies compared to a restrengthening subtropical high.  As this occurs, Nuri will begin an extratropical transition, which should be complete by Thursday evening.

Typhoon Nuri rapidly intensifying