Pagasa to adopt ‘super typhoon’ category
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - November 2, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is set to adopt “super typhoon” as an official term to classify a tropical cyclone.

PAGASA weather forecaster Samuel Duran yesterday said the use of the term super typhoon will be effective next year, according to a post in the website of Panahon.TV.

Panahon.TV is a weather content provider produced by the communications group of the Lina Group of Companies, in partnership with the Presidential Communications and Operations Office, People’s Television and PAGASA.

The post said “that the revision aims to emphasize the intensity of a tropical cyclone and the threat of its impacts.”

“Using the term ‘super typhoon’ will also escalate the sense of urgency and community response in times of an approaching storm,” it added.

Under the revised system, tropical cyclones will have four classifications: tropical depression, tropical storm, typhoon and super typhoon.

Tropical depression has maximum sustained winds of up to 61 kilometers per hour, while tropical storm will have sustained winds of 62 to 118 kph.

A typhoon will be used to identify cyclones with wind speeds ranging from 118 to 220 kph, while a super typhoon will have sustained winds of more than 220 kph.

Under the current classification, all cyclones with winds exceeding 118 kph are officially classified as a typhoon.

The post added that the term “severe tropical storm will only be applicable for the international warning for shipping, and will not be used for public dissemination, unlike the other categories.”

While not an official term recognized by PAGASA, the use of “super typhoon” has been commonly used by the local media to refer to powerful storms like Yolanda, which devastated parts of the Visayas last year.

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center officially describes a tropical cyclone of at least 130 knots – or with wind speeds of around 240 kilometers per hour – as a super typhoon.                  

GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION JOINT TYPHOON WARNING CENTER LINA GROUP OF COMPANIES PANAHON PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND OPERATIONS OFFICE SAMUEL DURAN TROPICAL TYPHOON
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