New Doppler radar for Visayas launched

Business Mirror - - SCIENCE MONDAY -

WITH the mod­ern­iza­tion pro­gram of the Philip­pine At­mo­spheric, Geo­phys­i­cal and As­tro­nom­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion ( Pagasa) in full swing, it is ex­pected that the agency will be able to fur­ther im­prove and upgrade its weather fore­cast­ing by cov­er­ing the en­tire Visayas re­gion. To at­tain this goal, the Iloilo Doppler Radar and Syn­op­tic Sta­tion in Wesviarc, Barangay Ha­mungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City, was in­au­gu­rated re­cently.

The sta­tion is one of the fa­cil­i­ties that Pagasa re­cently put into op­er­a­tion in May 2015 to pro­vide more ac­cu­rate weather data for a more pre­cise weather fore­cast­ing not only in Iloilo but in the en­tire Visayas; thus, en­sur­ing the safety of vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties from nat­u­ral haz­ards, like ty­phoons and floods.

“This Doppler Radar and Syn­op­tic Sta­tion is the 13th of the tar­geted 15 Doppler radars by yearend that will pro­vide more ac­cu­rate fore­cast­ing to en­able our farm­ers, our com­mu­ni­ties, to pre­pare ahead of time when there is a com­ing typhoon, be­cause this will give us de­tailed data to pre­dict the amount of rain­fall in par­tic­u­lar ar­eas at a par­tic­u­lar given time,” Sci­ence Sec­re­tary Mario G. Mon­tejo said.

The Doppler radar is ca­pa­ble of scan­ning and mon­i­tor­ing rain clouds as far as Mas­bate and Sor­so­gon area in the north, and Suri­gao and Davao area, plus the whole of Visayas re­gion. Thus, it is en­abling “now­cast­ing,” where an im­pend­ing typhoon can be eas­ily de­tected and tracked, al­low­ing for three hours lead time. Mon­tejo said the Doppler radar will be very use­ful not only on weather mon­i­tor­ing but for other ap­pli­ca­tions, as well. “The Iloilo Doppler Radar will pro­vide us with data sets that will be help­ful in man­ag­ing crop plant­ing, so farm­ers will know weather con- di­tions suit­able for plant­ing, ap­ply­ing fer­til­izer and har­vest­ing,” Mon­tejo said.

The Doppler radar will also en­hance the ca­pa­bil­ity of Pagasa to mit­i­gate the neg­a­tive ef­fect of El Niño by de­tect­ing rain clouds used for cloud seed­ing to in­duce rain. With this so­phis­ti­cated weather equip­ment, the sup­ply of wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion and agri­cul­ture will be as­sured and wa­ter short­age can be averted. The ini­tia­tive of the DOST and Pagasa was lauded by no less than Gov. Arthur De­fen­sor Sr. of Iloilo, who ex­pressed his grat­i­tude on be­half of the peo­ple of Iloilo.

“We, in the prov­ince of Iloilo, will now be much, much pre­pared be­cause of this Doppler radar, and this im­por­tant pro­ject will surely ben­e­fit us all. I thank Sec­re­tary Mon­tejo for this com­mend­able pro­ject,” De­fen­sor said.

The im­por­tant thing to know is that with this Doppler radar, we will now be able to pro­vide lo­cal weather fore­casts for the dif­fer­ent ar­eas in Iloilo prov­ince and in the en­tire Visayas re­gion, and this will be very help­ful to our farm­ers, busi­ness­men, stu­dents and the peo­ple, in gen­eral, Mon­tejo re­it­er­ated. “The Iloilo Doppler radar will em­power our peo­ple to make them safe and well- in­formed, and I see that your sup­port and our col­lab­o­ra­tion will re­sult in our proper re­sponse dur­ing times of calami­ties,” he said.

Af­ter the cer­e­mo­nial rib­bon cut­ting, the sci­ence sec­re­tary, to­gether with spe­cial guests and Pagasa of­fi­cials, toured the en­tire fa­cil­ity, in­clud­ing the com­mand cen­ter, where weather mon­i­tor­ing is done us­ing com­put­ers and other equip­ment. The land where the Pagasa sta­tion is lo­cated was do­nated by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture.

Be­sides Mon­tejo and De­fen­sor, oth­ers present dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion were Dom­i­nador Co, ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant; Iloilo City Mayor Jed Pa­trick Ma­bilog; Peter So­brevega of the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture; Dr. Renato U. Solidum, di­rec­tor of Philip­pine In­sti­tute of Vol­canol­ogy and Seis­mol­ogy; Dr. Lan­drico U. Dal­ida Jr., deputy ad­min­is­tra­tor of Pagasa; Dr. Fla­vianaHi­lario of Pagasa, Engr. Os­car Tabada, Pagasa-Visayas Re­gion Ser­vice Divi­sion OIC; Elena Que­zon rep­re­sent­ing the gov­er­nor of Guimaras; rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Ak­lan State Univer­sity and Capiz State Univer­sity; and Ak­lan Pro­vin­cial Disas­ter Risk Re­duc­tion and Man­age­ment Of­fi­cer Gerry Biona.

RODOLFO P. DE GUZ­MAN/S&T ME­DIA SER­VICE

SCI­ENCE Sec­re­tary Mario G. Mon­tejo (fourth from left) un­veils the marker on the new Philip­pine At­mo­spheric, Geo­phys­i­cal and As­tro­nom­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion Iloilo Weather Sta­tion, where a new Doppler radar is in­stalled. With Mon­tejo is Iloilo Gov. Arthur De­fen­sor Sr. (right).

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