Ana Clauren, weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, explained that clouds and high humidity “trapped” air pollutants, such as smoke from vehicles.
Michael Varcas/ File
‘Pollution’ haze blankets Metro Manila
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - January 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — It wasn’t ash spewed by Taal Volcano but plain old pollution that blanketed Metro Manila with a thick haze yesterday, according to the state weather bureau.

Ana Clauren, weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), explained that clouds and high humidity “trapped” air pollutants, such as smoke from vehicles. 

High moisture levels have the tendency to hold pollutants, she explained.

“It’s (haze). It is not related to Taal Volcano’s steam emission earlier,” Clauren told The STAR.

“It’s pollution and it’s not good for health,” she said. “Because it’s Friday many people used their cars.”

On Jan. 12, Taal Volcano’s eruption sent ash more than 100 kilometers north, reaching Metro Manila and as far as Central Luzon.

Clauren said the pollution to be brought by Chinese New Year celebrations last night was expected to worsen air quality in the metro.

Meanwhile, the weather forecaster said should Taal emit more ash, it is likely to be carried toward Cavite and Batangas because of the prevailing easterly winds.

“Because the prevailing wind now comes from the east, if the ash plume reaches five kilometers, it will likely affect areas in the west northwest of Taal and these are Cavite and Batangas,” she said.

“If it (ash plume) reaches seven kilometers it will likely drift toward the western portion of Laguna,” she said.

No weather disturbance is expected to affect the country this weekend, Clauren said.

She said the northeast monsoon would bring cloudy skies and scattered light rains over Cagayan Valley and Aurora. Metro Manila will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated light rains.

The Bicol region, Quezon and Northern Samar will have cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms due to the easterlies or warm air from the Pacific.

The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rains and thunderstorms.

PAGASA SMOKE TRAFFIC
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