Freak weather event caused Sunday rains - Pagasa
MANILA, Philippines - Top officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) defended the state weather bureau Pagasa after criticism that the public was not informed properly about the sudden heavy downpour and strong winds Sunday evening, July 29, over Metro Manila and nearby areas.
The Tuesday edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported the weather bureau was "surprised" by the torrential rain and strong winds that affected Metro Manila, Region IV-A, and Region III on Sunday evening, July 29.
The bureau, in a press conference on Tuesday, July 31, said the effects of both "Gener" and a shallow low pressure area caused the freak weather that night.
The bureau described the phenomenon as a mesocylone, which formed and dissipated in a matter of hours.
Dr Mahar Lagmay, head of the National Operational Assessment of Hazards project, said a mesocyclone is hard to detect through satellite imagery, but was detected by Pagasa's Doppler radar. A mesocyclone is defined as a rapidly rotating air mass within a thunderstorm that often gives rise to a tornado.
Lagmay said weather formation formed off Bataan early evening Sunday at around 8 p.m., and passed over Bataan, Manila Bay, and northern parts of Metro Manila.
Forecaster Jori Loiz told the paper there was no storm warning raised that evening because it only lasted for a few hours.
"We knew that there was an enhancement of the Southwest Monsoon, but we were surprised by the wind force registered… [it] was almost Signal Number 2," Loiz told the Inquirer.
The heavy rain and strong winds prompted evacuations of communities along waterways, and the suspension of classes and work the following day.
DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said information about the said weather disturbance was communicated properly through different channels, from text messages and broadcast media to social media. - Rappler.com