Pagasa to get super computer

Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Science and Technology is set to acquire an IBM “super computer” to improve weather forecasting and more effectively project the impact of climate change particularly on the agriculture sector, DOST officials said yesterday.

IBM will donate the computer, which will arrive in September, to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The computer will help weathermen extend their forecast from three days to seven, giving people more time to prepare for incoming storms, monsoons and other weather disturbances.

Montejo said the computer would also allow forecasters to use advance weather modeling software to consolidate weather sensors nationwide.

“The use of the super computer would make weather forecasting in any part of the country more accurate,” he said.

The new equipment will also help DOST prepare better analysis on the impact of climate change by using the climate modeling software and help forecast the proper time for farmers to plant and harvest crops.

The computer can also process data on what would be the weather outlook of the country in the next five to 10 years.

Aside from the super computer, the DOST would also install additional Doppler radars to help weathermen measure the amount of rainfall of an incoming typhoon.

DOST director Raymund Liborio said five more Doppler radars would be installed in strategic areas in the country.

There are now 10 Doppler radars operating nationwide.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gorio left the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday but PAGASA still warned fishermen to expect strong waves in the western seaboard of Luzon.

PAGASA said strong to gale force winds associated with the enhanced southwest monsoon is expected to affect the western seaboard of northern and central Luzon.

The weather bureau said Gorio gained more strength and picked up speed as it moved towards southern China early yesterday morning.

As of 4 a.m. yesterday, the storm was spotted at 560 kilometers northwest of Dagupan City with maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph.

It was forecast to move northwest at 30 kph.

PAGASA said the regions of Ilocos, Mimaropa and the provinces of Zambales and Pangasinan will still have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms in the next 24 hours.

Residents of Metro Manila and the rest of the country, on the other hand, will continue to experience cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.

Gorio was the seventh tropical cyclone to enter the country this year and the fourth weather disturbance in June.

The storm left the country with four dead, three of them drowned when their motorboat capsized in the rough waters off Iloilo, while the other fatality was struck by lightning while aboard a passenger ferry in Masbate.

Office of Civil Defense in Western Visayas director Rosario Cabrera identified the fatalities as one-month-old Christopher Caneta, Redan Rico, 2, and Justine Rico, 4, who perished when the boat capsized off the coast of Concepcion, Iloilo last Saturday afternoon.

In Masbate, 62-year-old boat skipper Vicente Novejas died while four others were injured when lightning struck their passenger boat in Balud, Masbate last Friday afternoon.

Injured were Jaime Jarenaho, 61; Elmar Labuyo, 27; Anilita Balintacula, 41, and crewmember Richard Orollo, 36.

Philippine Coast Guard personnel who rescued the victims brought them to the Balud Municipal Hospital. With Helen Flores, Jaime Laude



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