Weather, weather lang

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS -

Al­most on a daily ba­sis, it rains in most if not all parts of the metro. Some se­lect prov­inces like Que­zon or the Bi­col re­gion or the north­ern most part of the ar­chi­pel­ago ex­pe­ri­ence storms very reg­u­larly in the sec­ond se­mes­ter of the year.

Thank­fully, we have not had our quota of su­per ty­phoons in Manila this year, but we still have more than two months be­fore we can heave a sigh of re­lief. Still, the metro has been in­un­dated with flood waters and this is be­com­ing al­most a daily oc­cur­rence, much to the dis­may of stu­dents and other daily com­muters.

Notwith­stand­ing Trump and his silly de­nial of the re­al­ity of weather change, we need to come to terms with it and adapt to this re­al­ity. We can’t bat­tle the forces of na­ture when its wrath is upon us, but we can cer­tainly pre­pare. Be­ing fore­warned is be­ing fore­armed, and aware­ness is key.

We came upon Weather Philip­pines, a low-key but ded­i­cated or­ga­ni­za­tion whose mis­sion is to do daily weather fore­casts and thus em­power peo­ple with rel­e­vant weather news. What they de­liver is not just to warn us of ad­verse con­di­tions, but also guide us Filipinos on what can be done on a day-to-day ba­sis as far as the weather is con­cerned.

Weather Philip­pines was founded in 2012 as a cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity project of the Aboitiz Group of Com­pa­nies. The chair­man used to be En­rique Aboitiz but now it is Sabine Aboitiz who sits at the helm, with sev­eral con­glom­er­ates as part­ners.

To pro­mote their ad­vo­cacy, Weather Philip­pines re­lies on three pil­lars, the first of which is tech­nol­ogy. Ac­cord­ing to its gen­eral man­ager, Dave Michael Va­le­ri­ano, they have the most ex­ten­sive net­work of au­to­mated weather sta­tions in the Philip­pines, num­ber­ing over 800. For each sta­tion, they dish out lo­cal­ized weather con­di­tions that in­clude fore­casts and ac­tual con­di­tion in the area. This can be ac­cessed through their free mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion at Weather Philip­pines and their web­site at www.weather.ph.org. Their net­work also al­lows them to gen­er­ate his­tor­i­cal info which can be use­ful whether for pub­lic ser­vice or for de­vel­op­ment work, and this can be had for free.

Op­er­at­ing an ex­ten­sive weather fore­cast on a daily ba­sis is no mean feat, and for this they need to rely on vi­tal part­ner­ships, their sec­ond pil­lar. For­tu­nately, con­glom­er­ates like Ayala and SM, and a few pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als, sub­scribe to their ad­vo­cacy and help pro­vide the lo­gis­tics for the or­ga­ni­za­tion. With the con­tin­ued sup­port of co-ad­vo­cates, the or­ga­ni­za­tion hopes to put up a weather sta­tion in all ar­eas of the Philip­pines, start­ing with those ar­eas that are most prone to ty­phoons.

Lastly, their mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to Dave Michael Va­le­ri­ano, is not just about ac­cu­rate fore­casts but mak­ing the in­for­ma­tion ac­ces­si­ble and un­der­stand­able to the or­di­nary Pi­noy. Ac­cord­ing to Va­le­ri­ano, they have to ”lay­man­ize” the in­for­ma­tion that they dish out to the gen­eral pub­lic.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion has now part­nered with the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion. With the part­ner­ship, they con­duct weather train­ing ses­sions with science teach­ers and prin­ci­pals in the var­i­ous di­vi­sions of DepEd across the coun­try. They can cus­tom­ize their train­ing and can do it for stu­dents, teach­ers, busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments, pro­fes­sion­als, even farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties and fish­er­folks. They can con­duct sem­i­nars as sched­uled by their strate­gic part­ners. Re­quests for train­ing can be coursed through the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units.

They have also part­nered with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units and are col­lab­o­rat­ing with dif­fer­ent gov­ern­ment agen­cies. The data log­ger that they are cur­rently us­ing in run­ning their net­work was de­signed by the Ad­vance Science & Tech­nol­ogy In­sti­tute of the De­part­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy. They are happy to share the good news that soon, they will in­tro­duce new weather mod­els that will make pos­si­ble even bet­ter weather fore­casts that will in­clude the prob­a­bil­ity of rain­fall on hourly fore­casts. This will greatly help stu­dents and daily com­muters, par­ents of school chil­dren who can­not de­cide on whether to let their young kids go to school be­cause of pos­si­ble in­clement weather. Whether it rains or not, wouldn’t it be great if we are em­pow­ered to plan our ac­tiv­i­ties for the day on a day-to-day- ba­sis? Dave says they won’t stop there — they will con­tin­u­ously in­no­vate, but what is im­por­tant is they will ren­der ser­vice that is us­able by ev­ery Juan.

Mr. Dave Michael Va­le­ri­ano gra­ciously showed the B&L crew a sam­ple of their very com­pact weather sta­tion that had an ul­tra­sonic sen­sor im­ported from Ger­many that mea­sures tem­per­a­ture, hu­mid­ity, pres­sure, wind speed and di­rec­tion and a gauge that mea­sures rain. They have a so­lar-pow­ered data log­ger that sends data from the weather sta­tion to the sys­tem so it can be pro­cessed by their provider. They have a me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal team which con­stantly mon­i­tors satel­lite feeds on their screen. The me­te­o­rol­o­gists can as­sess how much rain has fallen in the last 24 hours in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try or which ar­eas have had no rain. They are the ones who make daily fore­casts based on the satel­lite feeds.

As Dave says, they are ev­ery­one’s as­set and he in­vites ev­ery­one to down­load their free mo­bile app­form the Ap­ple Store or from

Google Play. Their hash­tag is weather wiser na­tion, and if ev­ery­one can in­deed tap into this vi­tal in­for­ma­tion on a daily ba­sis, we can be a weather wise Philip­pines.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino. For com­ments and in­quiries (email) sun­shine.tele­vi­sion@ya­hoo. com

RAY BUTCH GAMBOA

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