Tropical Depression 22W:


Exciting News!

You are just recovering from a (category 1) night storm (Queenie) in which you lost a few trees
 -and then you hear a (category 5) SuperTyphoon is already gathering out in the Pacific Ocean.

So what do the media reports say?


What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane (or typhoon, or severe tropical cyclone), the strongest storm on Earth, is a cyclonic (rotary) storm that derives its energy from cloud formation and rainfall, unlike frontal cyclones that derive their power from a temperature gradient. Full Article

Saffir-Simpson Scale

Category 1 – 74-95 mph (64-82 knots; 119-153 km/hr). Damage is limited to foliage, signage, unanchored boats and mobile homes. There is no significant damage to buildings. The main threat to life and property may be flooding from heavy rains.

Category 2 – 96-110 mph (83-95 knots; 154-177 km/hr). Roof damage to buildings. Doors and windows damaged. Mobile homes severely damaged. Piers damaged by storm surge. Some trees blown down, more extensive limb damage. Full Article

Tropical Cyclone Formation

Tropical Cyclone Genesis is the technical term for the process of storm formation that leads ultimately to what are called hurricanes, typhoons, or tropical cyclones in various parts of the world.

This occurs when, in the Northern Hemisphere, the Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ, shifts northward out of the doldrums and atmospheric conditions become favorable for tropical cyclone formation after about the middle of May. Full Article


Tropical Depression 22W

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tropical Depression 22W may refer to the following tropical depressions designated 22W:


1 Dec 2014


Tropical Depression 22W, # 1

11:40 a.m. Monday, Dec. 1, Guam time: A new tropical depression spawned overnight southeast of Chu’uk, but it is forecast to pass well south of Guam, about 370 miles south of Naval Station, around mid-morning Wednesday. It’s then projected by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to continue west-northwest, intensifying into a Category 1-equivalent typhoon as it nears Yap before curving more northwest by the weekend. PST has an eye on it.


Warning: Tropical Storm 22W is developing quickly

This morning we announced that a new Low Pressure Area is developing. This LPA developed extremely fast during the day and has already been upgraded to a Tropical Storm.

All weather agencies had been too conservative this morning. Everybody expected the Low Pressure Are to develop into a Tropical Depression by tomorrow. Now it has already the strength of a Tropical Storm. This Cyclone is heading towards the Philippines and should reach our islands end of this week. The waters in the Pacific north of the equator are very warm, over 30°C. This will provide the cyclone with plenty of energy. Worse, there seem to be no high atmosphere streams that could disturb the cyclogenesis.

This Tropical Storm is moving at a forward speed of 25 km/h in direction west to northwest. It has a central pressure of  1000 hPa and wind speed near the center is 35-50 kt (55-92 km/h). The storm is expected to increase the forward speed to 30 km/h. The central pressure will constantly decrease by about 2 to 4 hPa in 24 hours.

JMA is still conservative

An extrapolation of these white probability circles makes us think that the cyclone will hit either Samar or Bicol. It is much too early to give a serious advice. We expect to have enough data on Wednesday.

JTWC outlook goes much farther

The US Navy looks much more ahead. Their forecast points much more to north, towards northern Luzon.

Please don’t panic now. Read the news and listen to the radio and watch TV. Or stay with us  

Silent Gardens tries to warn as soon as possible. Only with early warning you can re-book flights or change ferry tickets.

We’ll inform again tomorrow morning about the new Tropical Storm. We wish you a good night.


2 Dec 2014


Uncertainy continues to plague forecasters with 22W Hagupit

Tuesday morning dawns in the WPAC, and we are closely monitoring developments of tropical storm 22W HAGUPIT as it strengthens and continues to track to the west.

At 01/21z, the JTWC places HAGUPIT near 6.1N, 148.3E, or approximately 530nm (982km) SSE of Guam. HAGUPIT has been tracking to the WNW at 16kt (30 kph). Estimated sustained wind speeds are near 45kt (83kph). Estimated central pressure is 989mb. According to the JTWC, HAGUPIT is expected to continue to strengthen in favorable atmospheric conditions for the next 72 hours. After that, the forecast becomes a bit fuzzy due to several factors. A deep continental trough (cold front) is expected to move down through Japan, and cause a break in the STR (Sub-Tropical Ridge). This will be closely followed by a NE atmospheric surge event, which will make upper-level conditions a bit unfavorable for continued strengthening, and really create a complex situation in terms of steering influences. In essence, starting on Friday, HAGUPIT will slow down its forward motion and weaken a bit under these influences.

In layman’s terms, the storm will get stronger while it tracks to the west-northwest through Friday, then is will slow down and weaken just a bit as the rest of the scenario plays out. But the possibilities are still quite vast according to the computer model forecasts.

The ECMWF model is sticking to it’s original forecast and continues to show the storm making landfall in the southern Visayas region of the Philippines on 06 DEC. This model is the sole outlier of all other models which indicate a more northerly component to the track. I have VERY LOW confidence in this scenario.

The GFS model continues to stick to it’s original forecast as well, showing a WNW track of HAGUPIT, to about 500km east of the Philippines on 06 DEC, a stall for 12 hours, and then a turn to the N and NE as the STR breaks down. I have LOW confidence in this forecast.

The Parallel GFS model has the most interesting scenario at play, showing a WNW track of HAGUPIT through 07 DEC, a stall, and then a slow drift to the N into the oncoming trough and then, quite surprisingly, dissipation of the system into the trough. I have VERY LOW confidence in this scenario.

The GEM models shows an interesting outcome as well, with HAGUPIT tracking generally WNW through 09 DEC, stalling east of the northern Philippines, and then tracking to the WSW over the Philippine island of Luzon on 11 DEC. I have VERY LOW confidence in this scenario.

The NAVGEM model shows HAGUPIT tracking WNW to about 500km east of the Visayas region of the Philippines, stalling, and the taking a turn to the north. I have LOW cofidence in this scenario.

Finally, the JMA model shows HAGUPIT tracking WNW to about 500km east of the Visayas region of the Philippines, stalling, and then starting to move again to the NW with the model run ending 09 DEC with the system about 500km to the east of southern Luzon. I have LOW confidence in this scenario.

I have posted a graphic of the NCEP Ensemble models, and they suggest no threat to the Philippines.

It is still much too early to say with any degree of confidence what the final track of HAGUPIT will be. Safe to say the storm will get stronger and track to the WNW over the next 48 hours, and we will watch and see what develops out ahead of it in trying to determine the outcome beyond that time.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Tropical Tidbits


WDPN31 PGTW 020900










WEATHER SYNOPSIS: Dec 02 at 1030pm

Valid until: Dec 03 at 12PM
■ x Potential;0 LPA/s;1 Active;1 Threat ■
⊙ STS 22W(Hagupit) forecast to 'ENTER PAR' b/w 4th & 5th. Model shows a LANDFALL on the 7th to 8th over Eastern Visayas & curve to the North towards Bicol on the 9th.
■ PROJECTED PATH: 7th & 8th- Eastern Visayas; 9th - xxxx ■
※ RED ALERT(Evacuate, if needed)
→ 'when entered PAR'
※ ORANGE ALERT(Monitor & Prepare)
→ Leyte & Samar Provinces.
※ YELLOW ALERT(Monitoring is Advice)
→ Central Visayas, Caraga, Bicol.
※ GREEN ALERT(Monitor the Updates)
→ CaLaBaRZon, Northern Mindanao, MiMaRoPa.

* within 110E to 160E & Equator to 30N *
⊙ STS 22W(Hagupit) a VIOLENT & SLOW MOVING SYSTEM, tracking W to WNW slowly located near 6n 143e, East of Palau/Southeast of Yap.
⊙ PA3 FORECAST is being disregard for the moment.

→ Monitored or Spotted Potential Area(PA) is subject for ADJUSTMENTS or CHANGES due to the absence of the System actual Structure.
→ Pre-tracks is to guide or to have knowledge the possible path of the System, when it is seen or visible.

■ Madden-Julian Oscillation(MJO) Update ■

※ As of Dec 02 ※
→ Shows a slow transition of the focus of Tropical Activity from the Equatorial Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia and the Tropical Western Pacific Ocean. This movement in focus of cloud and rain is likely associated with a moderate to strong MJO event.
→ The risk of Tropical Cyclone development is also elevated. An active MJO over these longitudes at this time of year typically means an increased chance of tropical rainfall for Southeast Asia, Australia's far Northern Tropics and the Equatorial Western Pacific Ocean.
→ Climate models suggest the MJO will remain active and continue to move eastwards reaching the Western Pacific Ocean by the end of the week.
※ Next MJO Update : Dec 09 ※
°° Winds: 1 kts = 1.852 kph
~ TD:<33 kts;TS:34-47 kts;STS:48-63 kts;TYP:64-84 kts
~ Cat 2:85-97 kts;Cat 3:98-114 kts;Cat 4:115-138 kts;Cat 5:>139 kts
°° Rainfall: 1mm/min = 0.0394 in/min = 2.364 in/hr
°° Distance: 1 mi = 1.609 km

The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)

NOTE: When the index is within the center circle is considered weak. Outside of this circle the index is stronger and will usually move in an anti-clockwise direction (west to east) . For convenience, Its define 8 different MJO phases in this diagram. Phase 4 & 5 is somewhere Philippines is located.


3 Dec 2914


22W HAGUPIT grows stronger, threatens the Philippines by the weekend.

Wednesday morning dawns in the WPAC with a monster in the works to the southeast of Yap Island, and an uncertain future for impacts to other parts of the WPAC region.

Typhoon 22W HAGUPIT has gained a great deal of strength overnight, and as the sun rises over the region, we are now dealing with a Category 2 typhoon. The latest information from the JTWC at 02/2100z on HAGUPIT is as follows:


Position:       6.9N, 141.3E

Location:      445 km. southeast of Yap Island

1,680 km. ESE of Bislig, Mindanao, PHL

Pressure:      959 mb

Winds:           85 kt. with gusts to 105 kt. (157 kph/194 kph)

Movement:   West-northwest at 15 kt. (28 kph)


Strength forecast: HAGUPIT is expected to continue to strengthen over the next 72 hours, and become a Category 4 super-typhoon on Friday. Warm SST’s (sea-surface temperatures) and favorable upper-level conditions will allow this storm to become the monster many were expecting within this time frame. After this point, models and agencies agree that the storm will start to weaken due to influences from a continental trough (cold front) coming in from the north, and the upper-level influences of a strong NE atmospheric surge, creating unfavorable VWS (vertical wind shear) conditions over the region. Strength forecasts show weakening to near Category 2 force by 07 DEC.

Track forecast: Models agree on a general WNW track for HAGUPIT through the next 72 hours. After that, the models diverge a bit from a uniform prediction of the path of the system due to the unknown future influences of the aforementioned trough and surge.

I have listed the following models in chronological order, in reference to landfall, exit from the region, or dissipation of the storm. The models show the following:

ECMWF: This model continues to show a rapid westerly track for HAGUPIT, bringing it onshore in the Philippines near Leyte Island on 06 DEC. This is the same area ravaged by last year’s tragic storm HAIYAN (Yolanda), and this scenario would be doubly tragic for that region due to the lack of reliable infrastructure available following last year’s event. Strength forecasts for the ECMWF model are higher than all other models, showing landfall as a Category 2 strength system.

JMA: This model is more in line with the ECMWF model than other models, and also shows a rapid westerly track, with landfall on southern Leyte Island 07 DEC as a category 2 storm. It is important to note that the JMA track is only about 30 km south of the ECMWF track upon landfall.

JTWC: This model basically utilizes the average of all other models for its forecast, and shows HAGUPIT tracking generally WNW with a reduction in speed by 05 DEC, and a general downward trend in strength coinciding with the slower speed, brought on by the influences of the factors mentioned previously. The end of the forecast track shows the system about 200km east of Samar Island, PHL as a category 3 storm on 07 DEC.

GEM: This model shows a general WNW track with a mere wobble due to the effects of incoming weather systems on 06 DEC. The system will recover and then make landfall in northern parts of Samar Island, PHL, as a category 1 storm on 08 DEC.

NAVGEM: This model shows a general WNW movement and strengthening of the storm through 07 DEC, where it will stall a bit just to the east of Samar Island, PHL under the influences of the incoming weather factors. NAVGEM then shows the system slowly tracking northward, parallel to the eastern coast of Luzon, PHL as a category 2 or 3 storm. The run ends with the storm about 200 km east of Pollilo Island on 08 DEC.

Parallel GFS: This model also predicts a lull in forward movement on 08 DEC just east of the island of Luzon in the Philippines, where it will be caught up in the COL (weak steering wind currents) brought on by the struggle between the trough to the north, and the STR (Sub-Tropical Ridge) to the east. This model is in line with the GFS models, showing landfall in Luzon on 10 DEC near the province of Isabela as a very weak tropical depression.

GFS: This model predicts a lull in forward movement on 06 DEC, with a slow track to the north, while weakening, parallel to the eastern coast of Luzon, Philippines by 09 DEC. At this time the model forecasts the storm to head to the WSW, and landfall as a tropical depression on the island of Luzon near the province of Isabela on 11 DEC.

Some of the other models are still showing a chance for recurvature, but that is appearing LESS likely as time goes on. It would appear as time goes on, the influence of the trough and surge are expected to be weaker than anticipated, and landfall appears to be the trend in the forecasts. Since these factors have yet to fully reveal themselves, residents along the eastern seaboard of the Philippines should continue to monitor developments of typhoon HAGUPIT for any changes in the forecast.

Have a super-duper humpday!


CIMSS, JTWC, JMA, NRL, FNMOC, Tropical Tidbits,



Issued at: 7:00 PM PhT (11:00 GMT) Wednesday 03 December 2014
Next Update: Monday Morning, 04 December 2014

HAGUPIT has accelerated and strengthens further as it passes south of Yap, Ulithi...remains a threat to Eastern Philippines particularly Eastern Visayas this weekend.

Residents and visitors along Republic of Palau and Eastern Philippines (from Eastern Luzon down to Eastern Mindanao) should closely monitor the development of Hagupit.

Information based on data collected by WeatherPhilippines Foundation, Inc. shall not be taken as official data. Weather information broadcasted and distributed by PAGASA remains as official data. WeatherPhilippines shall not be responsible for the private use and reliance of its weather information.


Below are the regions or places in the Philippines that could be affected or that are being affected by the hazards generated by the current tropical cyclone.

None for the next 2 days.


As of 5:00 PM PhT today...0900 GMT...Dec 03.

Classification/Name: TY Hagupit
Location: Over Yap-Palau Area (near 8.5N 137.5E)
About: 130 km southwest of Yap Island...or 1,270 km east-southeast of Siargao Island
Maximum Sustained Winds (10-min avg): 175 kph near the center...Gustiness: 215 kph
24 hr. Rain Accumulation (near and west of the center): 100 to 300 mm [Heavy to Extreme]
Minimum Central Pressure: 948 millibars (hPa)
Size of Circulation [Convective Cloud-Based, in diameter]: 980 km (Medium)
Area of Damaging Winds (95 kph or more): 95 km from the Center
Past Movement: West-Northwest @ 36 kph
Forecast Movement: West-Northwest @ 27 kph
Towards: Philippine Sea


TY Hagupit is expected to slow down as it continues to move in a west-northwest track throughout the outlook period. On the forecast track, TY Hagupit will be entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Thursday early morning...and shall traverse the southeastern part of the Philippine Sea through Friday.

TY Hagupit is expected to continue gaining strength throughout the outlook period as it moves over the warmer sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of the Philippine Sea. Advance Intensity Forecast (AIF) shows its 10-minute maximum sustained winds increasing rapidly to 215 kph (at near-Super Typhoon strength) by Thursday afternoon.

The following is the 3-day forecast outlook summary for this system:

THURSDAY AFTERNOON: Continues to intensify as it traverses the southeastern part of the Philippine Sea...about 740 km east-northeast of Siargao Island [2PM DEC 04: 10.7N 132.8E @ 215kph].
FRIDAY AFTERNOON: Slightly loses strength after intensifying into a Super Typhoon as it slows down and moving across the central part of the Philippine Sea...about 425 km east-northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar [2PM DEC 05: 11.8N 129.5E @ 215kph].
SATURDAY AFTERNOON:Slows down significantly as it slightly turns to the west across the western-central part of the Philippine Sea, closer to Eastern Samar...about 295 km east-northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar [2PM DEC 06: 12.0N 128.1E @ 200kph].

*Please be reminded that the Forecast Outlook changes every 6 hours, and the Day 2 and 3 Forecast Track has an average error of 100 and 250 km respectively...while the wind speed forecast error, averages 35 kph per day. Therefore, a turn to the left or right of its future track and changes in its wind speed must be anticipated from time to time.

Important Note: Please keep in mind that the above hazards summary and forecast outlook changes every 6 to 12 hrs!


Super Typhoon 22W (Hagupit), #3: Manila-bound?

10:45 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, Philippines time: If Hagupit’s forecast track holds, the metro Manila area could be in for the same sort of storm that wreaked havoc in the central Philippines last November.

Hagupit rapidly intensified into the eighth super typhoon of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season overnight Wednesday. At 8 a.m. Thursday, Hagupit was packing 178-mph sustained winds and 219-mph gusts at its center as it rumbled west-northwest at 16 mph some 176 miles north of Palau.

Hagupit is forecast to peak at 196-mph sustained winds and 236-mph gusts at its center sometime Friday — one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, similar to the winds that devastated the central Philippines last November in the form of Super Typhoon Haiyan.

If it continues on its forecast track, Hagupit could be on course to strike close to Manila, Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Station sometime midday Tuesday. One note: There is a high degree of uncertainty in the forecast models, some of which have Hagupit continuing west toward the Philippines, but others having it curve north-northeast between Japan’s Minami-Daito islands and Iwo Jima.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecasts Hagupit to retain Category 5-equivalent winds as it reaches southern Luzon, 173-mph sustained winds and 207-mph gusts.

PST is all over this one.


4 Dec 2014


22W HAGUPIT (Ruby), continues to grow, on an uncertain track for the future.

Thursday morning dawns across the open waters of the western Pacific Ocean today and there’s one eye looking that we wish was not there. 22W HAGUPIT, known also as “Ruby” by the Philippine’s weather service PAGASA, has intensified into a powerful category 4 super typhoon overnight, becoming a bit of a Grinch for the Christmas season.

The JTWC issued the following information on HAGUPIT (Ruby) at 03/2100z (0500 PST):

Position:              9.6N, 134.6E

Location:             129 nm (239 km) NNE of Palau Island

                             1,028 km ESE of Borongan, Samar, PHL

Movement:          WNW @ 17 kt. (31 kph)

Pressure (est.):   926 mb

Winds (est.):       130 kt. (241 kph)

HAGUPIT (Ruby) has jumped ahead of strength forecasts to become a super typhoon a bit earlier than expected. There is reason to believe HAGUPIT will strengthen further yet under the influences of a VERY favorable tropical cyclone environment, and the forecast now calls for the storm to top out as a category 5 howler with 160 kt. (296 kph) sustained winds by 05 DEC, followed by a slow weakening trend thereafter.

HAGUPIT (Ruby) has been moving WNW at a healthy pace for the past 48 hours, and agencies and forecast models anticipate this movement is to continue for the next 72 hours. After that, there is still much confusion on the future track of this monster storm. The first model graphic displays the three general scenarios that are being described by computer forecast models.

One scenario has the system turn to the N and NE, and then start to track back to the WSW as a much weaker system. This view is supported by the GFS, Parallel GFS, and a few other models and is considered a valid scenario by the JTWC. The second scenario brings the storm in across southern Luzon, to track across the island and weaken. This scenario is supported by NAVGEM, CMC, and others, and is also considered a valid forecast by the JTWC.

The third scenario takes the storm into the southern Philippines near the Visayas. This scenario is supported by the ECMWF and GEM models, and it the official forecast of PAGASA and JMA, but considered least valid by the JTWC.

I have also included the official forecast track graphics for the primary monitoring agencies, PAGASA, JTWC, and the official RSMC agency for the WPAC, JMA.

In times like these, we who watch the weather wish we had a magic wand to wave and see into the future, so we could better warn those that might be affected. Unfortunately, it just isn’t possible. Residents along the entire eastern seaboard of the Philippines must prepare and stay informed on the latest developments of this potential killer.

Courtesy: JTWC, JMA, PAGASA, CIMSS, NRL, NOAA, NCEP, Tropical Tidbits


Typhoon Hagupit bears down on Philippines

Typhoon Hagupit is gathering strength in the western Pacific and could bring damaging winds and flooding to the Philippines over the weekend.

People in the Philippines are braced for the arrival of Typhoon Hagupit, expected to hit land on Saturday.

Hagupit, which is building strength over the Pacific, is slowly bearing down on the region devastated by Typhoon Haiyan a year ago.

Hagupit has gusts of up to 170km/h (105mph) and is expected to be a category 4 storm by Saturday.

Thousands of people, many still living in temporary shelters, have been told to go to evacuation centres.

Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, was the most powerful typhoon ever recorded over land.

It tore though the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,000 dead or missing.

  Local people have been stocking up on supplies ahead of the storm's arrival

Hagupit is not expected to be a powerful as Haiyan, but could bring storm surges up to one storey high.

The vice-mayor of Tacloban, the city which was worst hit by Haiyan, said the authorities were enforcing evacuation orders.

"We have no more excuse, we have gone through Yolanda, and to lose that many lives, it's beyond our conscience already," Jerry Yaokasin told reporters on Wednesday.

But he told AFP news agency: "Our problem is, we don't have enough evacuation centres."

Meteorologists say there is a chance Hagupit could veer north towards Japan and miss the Philippines altogether, but officials said they were preparing for a worst case scenario.

Helen Buena, an employee at a supermarket in Tacloban, told AFP people were stocking up on supplies.

"It's not raining yet but people are panic buying after hearing about the typhoon warnings on television and radio," she said.



Super Typhoon 22W (Hagupit), # 4

7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, Philippines time: The news is only slightly better for Metro Manila regarding Super Typhoon Hagupit, now forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to rumble slightly north of the capital, Clark Free Economic Zone and Subic Bay Free Port at mid-afternoon Tuesday.

Peak forecast winds have diminished slightly; Hagupit should top out at Category 5-equivalent 190-mph sustained winds and 230-mph gusts early Saturday morning, not as bad as Haiyan was last November, but still very, very bad. Hagupit’s winds are expected to slow but only slightly as it zooms in on the east coast of the Philippines’ northernmost island of Luzon.

The good news, if there’s any such thing, is that the current Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast has Hagupit’s tracking along the east coast of Luzon, meaning Metro Manila, the former Clark Air Base and the former Subic Bay Naval Station may be somewhat out of harm’s way.

An official at Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight indicated that if Hagupit remains on that forecast track, Metro Manila could experience 58-mph sustained winds and 86- to 98-mph gusts as it roars some 58 miles north at about 2 p.m. Tuesday. Interaction with land could cause Hagupit to weaken as it continues tracking. Hagupit is forecast to pass 73 miles northeast of Clark and 101 miles northeast of Subic around the same time. Anything further north of those locales should get it far worse, the weather flight official said. Heavy winds could continue into Wednesday, officials said.

Hagupit is still five days away from landfall, and the various computer models are still not in agreement over which way Hagupit might actually head. Some dynamic models depict a significant curve northeast of the Philippines; others have it on a direct course for Luzon, the way Haiyan plowed through the central Philippines islands last November. Point being, anything can happen from now until Tuesday.

PST continues to keep an eye on things.


5 Dec 2014


Typhoon 22W (Hagupit), #5: Downgraded

By Dave Ornauer

Stars and Stripes

 10:45 a.m. Friday, Dec. 5, Philippines time: The news gets slightly better for metro Manila and surrounding area. Hagupit has been downgraded to typhoon status, still packing a significant Category 4-equivalent punch, 143-mph sustained winds and 173-mph gusts as it swirls some 620 miles east-southeast of the Philippines’ capital at midmorning.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center has Hagupit interacting with land before it reaches Manila, meaning it should diminish even further in strength. Latest forecast has Hagupit tracking 40 miles south of Manila at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, packing sustained 74-mph winds and 86-mph gusts at its center — far less than earlier forecast, but still a significant Category 1-equivalent storm. Hagupit should pass 77 miles south of Clark Free Economic Zone and 46 miles south of Subic Bay Free Port.

PST continues to keep watch.


Powerful Typhoon Hagupit nears Philippines

Tens of thousands of people have sought shelter as powerful Typhoon Hagupit heads towards the Philippines.

Hagupit, or Ruby in the Philippines, has gusts of up to 250km/h (155mph) and is forecast to reach land on Saturday.

It is on course for the Eastern Samar province and the city of Tacloban, where thousands were killed by Typhoon Haiyan a year ago.

Local residents, many of them still living in temporary shelters, are moving away from coastal areas.

Haiyan - known as Yolanda in the Philippines - was the most powerful typhoon ever recorded over land. It tore though the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,000 dead or missing.

Hagupit, which means "smash" in Filipino, is not expected to be a powerful as Haiyan but could bring storm surges up to one storey high.

Officials have warned the storm will bring heavy rain, storm surges and the risk of landslides.

The US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center had classified Hagupit as a super typhoon but downgraded it on Friday morning. It remains the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year.

Schools and government offices are closed in some areas and there were long queues at shops and petrol stations as people stocked up on supplies.

In Tacloban, many people had chosen to seek shelter in the sports stadium.

"We've learned our lesson from Yolanda," Rita Villadolid, 39, told AFP news agency. "Everyone here is gripped with fear."

The Philippine weather authorities said that as of 04:00 local time (20:00 GMT Thursday) Hagupit was 500km (300 miles) east of Eastern Samar and moving at a speed of 13km/h. It has sustained winds of 215km/h and gusts of up to 250 km/h.

Meteorologists had said there was a chance Hagupit could veer north towards Japan and miss the Philippines altogether, but this scenario is increasingly seen as unlikely.

The Philippines gives its own names to typhoons once they move into Philippine waters, rather than using the international storm-naming system.


Aquino hits alarmist media reports on Typhoon Ruby

'Don’t we all agree that, in reporting, we must always get the facts right, the angle right, and the news right, if we are to truly inform our people?' the President tells journalists

Updated 3:40 PM, Dec 05, 2014

BE ACCURATE. President Benigno Aquino III appeals to media to be accurate in their reporting. Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – Please be accurate.

This was the appeal of President Benigno Aquino III to the media on Friday, December 5, at the Bulong Pulungan at the Sofitel, his annual get-together with journalists.

Aquino reminded media of their “capacity to shape discourse, agenda, and the priorities of both government and society,” before citing an example of an inaccurate report on the approaching Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit).

“On Tuesday, Secretary Mario Montejo of our DOST (Department of Science and Technology) informed me that Ruby’s estimated strength would be somewhere in the neighborhood of about 140 kilometers per hour, bringing with it heavy rains if it makes landfall, expectedly on Sunday. Let us remember now that Yolanda’s maximum winds based on some reports were pegged at about 300 kph,” Aquino said.

“On Wednesday, one of our major dailies headlined Ruby as ‘Yolanda-like.’ We all know that the paper had to be printed on Tuesday, and thus the information that the report was based [on] must have come from Tuesday’s information.”

The Philippine Daily Inquirer carried a banner story with the same term on Wednesday.

Aquino said he was “concerned with such a statement,” but said “up until yesterday at the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council) briefing, there was no indication or official analysis predicting that Ruby would be Yolanda-like in strength.”

“At best, if Ruby struck, its strength would be more comparable to Pablo,” Aquino said.

One of the strongest typhoons to hit Mindanao, Pablo made landfall in December 2012 with maximum sustained winds that reached 185 kph. Pablo killed over 1,000 people and wrought P36.95-B in damage.

The President added, “One has to ask: What was the basis of such speculation, and don’t we all agree that, in reporting, we must always get the facts right, the angle right, and the news right, if we are to truly inform our people?”

Aquino encouraged media to “demonstrate goodwill and good cheer” this Christmas season.

“Today, it is my hope that from your pens will come the responsible, sober writing that will help foster the confidence we need as we weather this challenge again as a people,” he said.

“As you have earned the respect of our people, you have no other motivation than to do what is right, to voice your informed and honest opinions, to stimulate relevant and productive discussions, and to set a standard in news-making that caters not to the mob but to the truth.”

Typhoon Ruby, already in the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), is expected to make landfall on Saturday.

'Very happy'

On Thursday, Aquino attended a briefing of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on the typhoon, wherein he grilled officials of the state weather bureau and the Cabinet for over two hours. Asked to assess the briefing, he said he was “very happy” with it.

“At the end of the day, I think I’m ultimately responsible for how this government works and I want to impress upon everybody that it is not just doing something but rather doing the right thing. And, in certain instances, I really have to press and overcome the inertia of some of the members of the bureaucracy,” he said.

”I really want to be able to say to myself when I look myself at the mirror that we have done everything that was humanly possible to address whatever issued to us.”

He reminded the public that the typhoon’s “track is not yet defined.” He gave assurances however that the planning for Ruby has alternatives.

“We’re not putting all of the eggs in one basket. So regardless of where this track eventually finally settles, then we will be able to do a lot better than Yolanda,” he said. –


8 Dec 2014


Tropical Storm 22W (Hagupit), # 12: Manila may get spared

By Dave Ornauer

Stars and Stripes

10:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 8, Philippines time: Hagupit continues to deteriorate and it appears as if Manila and the former Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Station may be spared the worst of what remains of what is now a middling tropical storm. Observers on the ground say rain has been consistently light, though that may change, with 15-mph sustained winds and occasional gusts. Always best to prepare for worse, because any tropical cyclone's eastern quadrants possess more moisture and higher winds.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center projected Hagupit to pass 54 miles south of Manila at 11 p.m., 90 miles south of Clark at 5 a.m. Tuesday and 58 miles south of Subic at 7 a.m. Sustained winds at its center are 52 mph with 63-mph gusts.


Typhoon Hagupit: Storm weakens as it nears Philippine capital Manila

Tropical storm Hagupit is heading to Manila, but has been downgraded from a typhoon after crossing the country.

At least 21 people were killed by the storm, the Red Cross said, with the eastern island of Samar worst hit, but it caused far less damage than feared.

Thousands of people are heading home after about a million people were evacuated from vulnerable areas.

The city of Tacloban, which bore the brunt of Super Typhoon Haiyan last year, has emerged relatively unscathed.

At the scene: Saira Asher, BBC News, Albay province

Albay province, which evacuated more than half its population, has called for those people to go home.

After spending three days at a school in Polangi, families are packing into small military trucks, holding one or two plastic bags with the essentials they brought with them.

They worry about the state in which they'll find their homes but many are most worried about their rice fields, their only source of income.

One woman reached her house and found it flooded and uninhabitable. For her that means at least one more night in the evacuation centre.

Hagupit: What did the Philippines do differently?

Hagiput - pictures, tweets and videos from the Philippines

In the capital, residents are preparing for heavy rain and strong winds.

The typhoon is still travelling westwards across the Philippines, and has weakened into a tropical storm, according to the Philippine meteorological authorities.

A government alert on Monday morning stated that residents of the capital and surrounding regions should expect winds of up to 100km/h (62mph) in the next 24 hours, and to prepare for possible flash floods, landslides, and storm surges of up to 2m.

Thousands who live along the coast and riverbanks were evacuated on Monday, reports said. A total of 11.8 million people live in the national capital region.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said the city was "prepared and trained for this", but added: "It's the flooding that we are worried about."

Financial markets closed their doors on Monday along with schools and government offices. Flights and other public transport were halted.

Hagupit has been nowhere near as powerful as Typhoon Haiyan - known as Yolanda in the Philippines - which tore through the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,000 dead or missing.

In Tacloban, Hagupit blew away roofs and flooded streets, but the area has escaped the wider devastation of last year.

"There were no bodies scattered on the road, no big mounds of debris," local woman Rhea Estuna told the Associated Press by phone from Tacloban. "Thanks to God this typhoon wasn't as violent."

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez told the BBC that the immediate task was assessing damage to the temporary shelters in which some people have been living.

He said that the weather was good now but that high tides were making it harder for waterways to drain, despite work to clear debris.

UN official Orla Fagan told Reuters that a lot of people have begun returning to their homes. "In Tacloban this morning, the sun is shining, people just started going back," she said.

The storm made its fourth landfall on Monday night, hitting Batangas province some 100km (60 miles) south of Manila with winds of roughly 100km/h.

At its height, as it approached land on Saturday, gusts of up to 250km/h were recorded.

The authorities said they were better prepared than when Haiyan struck, and organised the largest peacetime evacuation in the history of the Philippines.

Justin Morgan, Oxfam country director for the Philippines, told the BBC that a key factor was a greater focus on the dangers of storm surges, meaning people were moved away from coastal areas.

Joey Salceda, governor of Albay province, told the BBC no casualties and only "negligible damage" had been reported in his province.

He said the storm had been identified as a threat in late November, giving officials time to identify population at risk, evacuate them two days ahead of the storm and prepare food supplies.

Known locally as Typhoon Ruby, Hagupit has nonetheless caused major damage in several towns in the east.

The Philippine Red Cross said at least 21 people had died over the weekend, with 18 of those on the eastern island of Samar, where Hagupit made landfall on Saturday.

The mayor of Dolores, a town on Samar, said that 80% of homes there had been destroyed. One resident reportedly died after a tree fell on him.

Two more people - a one-year-old girl and a 65-year-old man - died from hypothermia in the central province of Iloilo, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.

A total of 183 flights had been cancelled and five airports closed, the agency said, and there were power outages in 16 provinces.


Typhoon Hagupit: What did the Philippines do differently?

For the hundreds of families who took shelter from Typhoon Hagupit inside a school in Albay province, the wait is finally over.

Today they find out what state their homes and fields are in after days inside a strong building to protect them from the powerful gusts of winds and endless rain.

"I hope that our house wasn't destroyed or damaged by [the] typhoon or that it was not in the flood," says 16-year-old Ronna Mae Salturio.

Her family, one of many living in small shanties along the road, is getting ready to be taken home in a military truck with the few essentials they brought with them.

They might be worried about their future, but they have survived.

At least 21 people are known to have died during Hagupit, but that's a stark comparison with last year when more than 7,000 died or went missing from Typhoon Haiyan which left mass destruction in its wake.

There are still remote parts of Samar that are unreachable, due to floods or downed trees blocking roads, and there could be significant destruction and loss of life there.

But for the most part, the Philippines looks to have averted disaster on a national scale.

For some, it shows the government has learned its lesson and preparations were made in time.

President Benigno Aquino's administration faced much criticism for the slow response in getting food and aid to Tacloban and other areas after Haiyan.

In the Philippines, where bad weather is a part of life, Albay province is seen as a leading example of disaster management. In 1995, it set up a separate office solely to deal with emergencies and it looks to have paid off.

A total of 128,998 families were evacuated from low lying or mudslide-prone areas to schools, community centres and other stronger buildings, with the help of trucks and personnel from the military.

The governor told the BBC he went on the radio to encourage people to leave their homes and property behind.

They were also given incentives in the form of bags of rice, which for those living in poverty is a big draw.

It's all part of what the provincial government says was its strategy to minimise risk and loss of life.

"Evacuation rather than rescue, that's our doctrine," says Cedric Daep, Chief of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office.

He says they met days before the expected typhoon with local mayors to identify the major hazards. Floods, landslides, storm surges, mud flow and strong winds could destroy houses made of light materials.

Haiyan was so deadly largely because of the huge unexpected storm surges it brought with it which wiped away entire communities.

So knowing that, evacuating from low lying areas looks to have paid off.

"We are happy with the result that we achieved zero casualty," Mr Daep says.

And at the national level, food and aid distribution centres were set up early. Both the government and aid agencies were poised to act before the storm this time as opposed to reacting after.

President Aquino said before the typhoon struck that he would not be patient with excuses after this event and wanted to set a "zero casualty" target.

They also had help from the fact that Hagupit turned out to be much less destructive then predicted.

It was briefly classed as a super typhoon as it approached the Philippines, with winds of 250km/h, but by the time it hit land on Saturday it had reduced in speed significantly.

But even then, it was increased awareness of the dangers of the typhoon that made people nervous enough to leave their homes.

That fear is the legacy that Haiyan has left here.


9Dec 2014

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Tropical Storm 22W (Hagupit), # 14: Hagupit exits Philippine

By Dave Ornauer
Stars and Stripes

11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, Philippines time: Tropical Storm Hagupit has begun tracking southwest away from the west coast of the Philippines into the South China Sea. Joint Typhoon Warning Center’s latest forecast shows Hagupit packing 46-mph sustained winds and 58-mph gusts at its center, and it has passed closest point of approach to Metro Manila, Clark Free Economic Zone and Subic Bay Free Port.

At least 27 people were killed during Hagupit, 21 on eastern Samar Island alone, Philippine government and Red Cross officials told CNN and Reuters. Some 1,000 homes were destroyed, more than 1 million were evacuated from their homes, the storm downed trees and caused flooding in low-lying areas.

But the lessons of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated many of the same areas 13 months ago, were apparently learned well, officials said. About half the population of Tacloban, the city hardest hit by Haiyan last year, evacuated to safer ground, the U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA Philippines told CNN.

“People didn’t have to be pushed any more,” Philippines Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon told CNN, mindful of efforts to evacuate large numbers of people from vulnerable east coastal areas, averting a repeat of last year’s disaster in which more than 7,000 died. “They knew they could face another Haiyan, and Haiyan killed a lot of people from storm surges.”

While wind associated with Hagupit was far less and storm surges less evident than with Haiyan, Hagupit was a far slower-moving storm, which meant the big worry was heavy rain and flooding, much of which occurred in eastern Samar and other islands south and east of Manila.

Some 25 million reside in Metro Manila and surrounding areas, but the capital only received just over an inch of rain and winds between 15 and 20 mph. Areas south and east got hit much harder and saw as much as 17 inches of rain in Catbalogan, on Samar island.

Assessment teams have already fanned out to Samar to survey damage, Reuters reported. Philippines armed forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang said local authorities were working with international groups. Officials have said 11 countries have pledged to send aid. Australia has pledged 800 metric tons of rice to people affected by Hagupit. Senior government officials have inspected Dolores, on Samar, where Hagupit made initial landfall, and saw damaged homes, fallen trees and posts blocking roads and villagers holding out in evacuation centers, Reuters reported.

Philippines president Benigno Aquino canceled a trip to Korea for the ASEAN summit this week to stay at home and work with officials to help the country recover from Hagupit, Aquino’s spokeswoman told Reuters.

Hagupit is now on a southwestern course toward Vietnam, and is forecast by JTWC to make landfall at 7 a.m. local time Friday as a tropical depression, about 80 miles northeast of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Unless Hagupit regenerates over the South China Sea and becomes more of a threat to Vietnam, this is the final report on Hagupit, which at one time was the eighth super typhoon of the northwest Pacific’s season.


8 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, Philippines time: The worst appears to be over wind-wise for Metro Manila and surrounding areas, but the threat of heavy rain associated with Tropical Storm Hagupit continues, as it remains a slow-moving storm, grinding west-northwest at just over 5 mph, packing 46-mph sustained winds and 52-mph gusts at its center.

Hagupit made its closest point of approach about 55 miles south of Manila at 1 a.m. Tuesday, 83 miles south of the former Clark Air Base some three hours later and 52 miles south of the former Subic Bay Naval Station at about 8 a.m. Manila was still experiencing sustained 15-mph winds at 8 a.m., but rain remains in the forecast into late Tuesday and possibly Wednesday. Wind warnings of between 19 to 38 mph remain in effect for Metro Manila south to Mindoro and several provinces inbetween, the Weather Channel reported.

While Manila had received just over an inch of rain through early Tuesday, forecast calls for between 3 to 5 inches as Hagupit continues slowly moving west. Most heavy rain was concentrated south and east of the capital since last Friday. Catbalogan, on the eastern island of Samar where Hagupit first made landfall, got the most recorded rainfall, 17½ inches. Tabayas, just southeast of Manila, received 10.72 inches of rain. More than 25 people have perished and more than 1 million people have been evacuated, according to various reports.

Hagupit should continue moving west out over the South China Sea toward Vietnam, making landfall there as a tropical depression late Thursday or early Friday.




Dec 09, 2014

Hagupit, local name Ruby, further weakens into a tropical depression Tuesday. This comes after state weather bureau PAGASA downgraded Hagupit into a tropical storm Monday night. PAGASA also lowered all storm signals, but areas in Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila, will still experience rain. Hagupit is expected to leave Luzon Thursday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council or NDRRMC says Hagupit, which started out a super typhoon, killed at least 11 and affected over 2 million people. The Philippine Red Cross earlier reported 21 died but the NDRRMC said the number was unverified. The Agriculture Department pegs the crop damage at almost P500 million. Government statistics show over 1 million people were housed in evacuation centers the night the storm made landfall.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction calls the preemptive evacuation “one of the largest peacetime evacuations in Philippine history.” This is a far cry from the estimated 125,000 evacuated for Super Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda.


Dec 10, 2014


Ruby: Areas under State of Calamity

List of provinces, cities, and municipalities under a state of calamity due to Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit)

SEEKING SHELTER. Leyte residents seek shelter in churches, schools, and evacuation centers as Typhoon Ruby approaches. Photo by Vincent Go/Rappler

This list will be regularly updated. Please refresh this page for updates.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – This is a list of provinces, cities, and municipalities that have declared a state of calamity due to Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) as of Monday, December 8.



The declaration of a state of calamity helps facilitate release of emergency funds for use in a disaster or emergency.

A local government will also be allowed to freeze princes for basic commodities, grant zero interest loans, import foreign donations, and give hazard allowances for health workers and emergency responders. –


Disturbing climate change

Rappler talks to Fr. Jett Villarin on Typhoon Ruby, and the UN climate change talks in Lima

Updated 2:44 PM, Dec 10, 2014

MANILA, Philippines - Rappler talks to Fr. Jett Villarin, one of the Filipino authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports and the president of Ateneo de Manila University.

As the 20th United Nations Climate Change Conference (#COP20) at Lima comes to a close, the Philippines reels from the effects of Typhoon Ruby. Ruby (international name: Hagupit) is the latest among a slew of typhoons that battered the country in 2014. The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council says Ruby, which started out a super typhoon, killed at least 11 and affected over 2 million people in Eastern Visayas and Central Luzon.

In Lima, negotiators debate over a UN pact to curb global warming and the politics of climate change action. Should rich, developed nations commit to more responsibility in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions? What will the future look like if climate change progresses at its current pace?

With the Philippines topping a list of countries most affected by climate change in 2013, the discussion on climate change becomes more and more significant. The Philippines ranks number one in the Global Climate Risk Index 2015, a list of countries most affected by weather-related disasters like storms, floods, and heatwaves. Cambodia ranks 2nd, and India places 3rd. Last year, Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Visayas and left more than 6,300 dead.

Is worsening climate change inevitable? Will the typhoons be worse in 2015? What does climate change resiliency mean? How does the government address the knowledge gap on climate change?

Preparing for Hagupit
Cleaning Up
Typhoon Haiyan -One Year After
2013 November Typhoon

Garden Diary
2013 index


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