Philippine public storm warning signals

Public storm warnings are issued to warn the public of incoming weather disturbances. Once a Storm signal is activated, the conditions in the area are not necessarily felt yet. Below are the lead times for issuing a public storm signal:

  • After Public Warning Signal No. 1 is issued for the storm, weather disturbances are expected in 36 hours.
  • A weather disturbance is expected within 24 hours after public warning signal #2 is issued.
  • After Public Warning Signal No. 3 has been issued for the storm, weather disturbances are expected in 18 hours.
  • Disturbance of the weather is expected in 12 hours after Public Storm Warning No. 4 has been issued.

The lead time is reduced if a new weather bulletin is issued and the public storm signal warning for the area remains the same.

As a meteorological disturbance moves through the Philippine Area of ​​Responsibility (PAR), public storm signals may be upgraded or downgraded.

The given signal number for an area is based on the intensity, circulation size and forecast direction and speed of the tropical storm or typhoon when the public storm warning signal is raised. Changes in the intensity, magnitude of circulation, or movement of a tropical cyclone also determine a change in the public storm warning signal for a given area.

Meteorological conditions:

  • A tropical cyclone will threaten/affect the area.
  • Winds of 30 to 60 km/h are expected.
  • Occasional rain can be expected for at least 36 hours. (When a tropical cyclone develops very close to an area, a shorter duration of winds will be specified in the warning bulletin.)

Effect of winds:

  • Twigs and branches of small trees may be broken.
  • Some banana trees can be tilted or upside down.
  • Some houses made of very light materials may be partially unroofed.
  • Affected areas may suffer only very light or no damage.
  • Rice in the flowering stage can suffer significant damage.

Preventive measures:

  • As a tropical cyclone intensifies and approaches, this warning signal number may be increased.
  • Waves in coastal waters can gradually develop and swell.
  • People are advised to listen to the latest severe weather bulletin issued by PAGASA every six hours.
  • Business can be conducted as usual with the exception of floods.
  • Disaster preparedness units are activated on alert.

Meteorological conditions:

  • A tropical cyclone will affect the area.
  • Winds of over 60 km/h to 100 km/h can be expected in at least 24 hours.

Effect of winds:

  • Some coconut trees can lean; some of them may break.
  • Several large trees may be uprooted.
  • Many banana trees can be destroyed.
  • Rice and maize crops may be affected.
  • A large number of houses made of light materials may be unroofed.
  • The old galvanized roofing can be peeled off.
  • In general, winds can cause light to moderate damage to exposed communities.

Preventive measures:

  • The sea and coastal waters are dangerous for small seagoing vessels.
  • Particular attention should be paid to the last position, direction and speed of movement, and intensity of the storm as it moves toward the area.
  • The public is warned, especially people traveling by sea and air.
  • Children’s outdoor activities should be postponed.
  • Property security before signal upgrade.
  • Disaster preparedness agencies/organizations are in action to warn their communities.

Meteorological conditions:

  • A tropical cyclone will affect the area. Wind speeds of over 100 km/h to 185 km/h can be expected in at least 18 hours.

Effect of winds:

  • Many coconut trees can be broken or destroyed.
  • Almost all banana trees can be felled and a large number of trees can be uprooted.
  • Rice and maize can suffer heavy losses.
  • Most houses made of light material may be unroofed or destroyed. Significant damage may occur to light to medium structures.
  • There may be widespread disruptions to electrical power and communications services.
  • In general, moderate to severe damage can occur, especially in agriculture and industry.

Preventive measures:

  • Weather conditions are dangerous for affected communities.
  • The sea and coastal waters will be very dangerous for all naval vessels.
  • Traveling is very risky, especially by air and by sea.
  • People are advised to seek shelter in solid buildings, evacuate low-lying areas and stay away from coastlines and riverbanks.
  • Watch for the passage of the eye of a typhoon indicated by the sudden appearance of fair weather immediately after very bad weather with very strong winds coming generally from the north.
  • When the eye of a typhoon hits a community, don’t venture out of safe shelter because after one to two hours the worst of the weather will return with very strong winds coming from the south.
  • Classes at all levels should be suspended and children should remain in the safety of strong buildings.
  • Disaster preparedness and response agencies/organizations are in action with adequate emergency response.

Meteorological conditions:

  • A very intense typhoon hits the area.
  • Very strong winds with a speed of more than 185 km/h can be expected in at least 12 hours.

Effect of winds:

  • Coconut plantations can suffer extensive damage.
  • Many large trees can be uprooted.
  • Rice and maize plantations can suffer serious losses.
  • Most mixed-use residential and institutional buildings can be severely damaged.
  • Electricity distribution and communication services may be severely disrupted.
  • The damage to affected communities can be very severe.

Preventive measures:

  • The situation is potentially very destructive to the community.
  • All travel and outdoor activities should be cancelled.
  • Evacuation to safer shelters should have been completed.
  • The area is very likely to be hit directly by the eye of the typhoon.
  • As the eye of the typhoon approaches, the weather will continue to deteriorate, with winds increasing to the strongest coming generally from the north.
  • There will be a sudden improvement in the weather with light winds, which means the area is under the eye of a typhoon.
  • Depending on the diameter of the eye and the speed of movement, this improved weather may last an hour or two.
  • As the eye moves out of the area, weather conditions will worsen, with strong winds generally coming from the south.
  • The concerned Disaster Coordination Councils and other disaster response organizations are now fully responding to emergencies.

Super typhoon

Meteorological conditions:

  • A super typhoon hits the area.
  • Very strong winds with a speed of more than 220 km/h can be expected in at least 12 hours.

Effect of winds:

  • Almost complete damage to structures made of light materials, especially in highly exposed coastal areas.
  • Complete roof failure on many buildings. Serious and extensive damage to windows and doors.
  • Most mixed-use residential and institutional buildings can be severely damaged.
  • Electricity distribution and communication services were severely disrupted.
  • All the billboards have fallen.
  • Total damage to the banana plantation.
  • Most of the tall trees are broken, uprooted or defoliated.
  • Coconuts are bent, broken or uprooted.
  • Few plants and trees survived.

Preventive measures:

  • The situation is potentially extremely destructive or catastrophic for the community.
  • All travel and outdoor activities should be cancelled.
  • Evacuation to safer shelters should have been completed as it may have been too late for this situation.
  • The area is very likely to be hit directly by the eye of the typhoon.
  • As the eye of the typhoon approaches, the weather will continue to deteriorate, with winds increasing to the strongest coming generally from the north.
  • There will be a sudden improvement in the weather with light winds, which means the area is under the eye of a typhoon.
  • Depending on the diameter of the eye and the speed of movement, this improved weather may last an hour or two.
  • As the eye moves out of the area, weather conditions will worsen, with strong winds generally coming from the south.
  • The concerned Disaster Coordination Councils and other disaster response organizations are now fully emergency response and fully prepared to respond immediately to a potential disaster.

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