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systems for forecasting and warning of severe weather. Tis aids understanding of how forecast information can be better interpreted and used by the Philippine responder communities.


Opposite: Manila is the capital and second largest city of the Philippines


Below: A Convective Scale Modelling joint conference hosted by PAGASA at their Head Office in Manila. Attended by representatives from PAGASA, the Korea Met Administration, Japan Meteorological Agency, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Met Office.


forecasts, ranging across all timescales from hours to centuries, for any location around the world. Tis will give PAGASA increased certainty in the occurrence of a specific type of weather event. Ultimately PAGASA intends to run the Unified Model on its own IT infrastructure.


IMPROVING FORECASTING CAPABILITY PAGASA engaged the Met Office to fulfil three key strands of activity aimed at improving the


country’s weather forecasting capability. Tese are: l


Numerical Weather Prediction systems –


providing data feeds from the Met Office Unified Model, optimised for the Philippines region to increase their confidence in


producing forecasts/warnings. l


Seasonal forecasting – introducing new


seasonal forecasting methods for longer term planning purposes, for example water supply. Tese sit alongside current techniques to test out different methods in order to better inform government stakeholders, private


sector organisations and the public at large. l


Human Resource development – raising


in-country competence and compliance to standards, and developing techniques to better disseminate weather warnings and information to stakeholders and the public. Te Numerical Weather Prediction outputs have


been produced for use by PAGASA meteorologists, initially at a country level, specifically in relation to severe weather events such as the tracking of tropical cyclones. As part of the human resource development element of the project, the Met Office reviewed working practices and


IMPACT-BASED FORECASTS More recently the numerical weather prediction outputs have been produced at a higher resolution, which meant they could be used for warnings within the capital city Manila, and the greater metropolitan Manila area. Metro Manila can be directly affected by tropical


cyclones, and also experiences a South West monsoon that can focus thunderstorm activity over the metropolitan area, triggering widespread floods and increasing risks of landslides. Sometimes tropical storms missing Manila to the north can enhance the South West monsoon and increase its intensity. Tis recently happened on 4 August 2014 with tropical cyclone Halong, again on the 8/9 September with an unnamed tropical depression in the South China Sea, and on 15 September with tropical cyclone Kalmaegi. All had amber warnings issued, meaning significant or severe impacts are more likely than not, such as flooding of parts of communities or disruption to infrastructure. PAGASA is working closely with other


government stakeholders, such as the Metro Manila Development Agency, to identify threshold points that result in significant impacts. For example, the Metro Manila Development Agency has worked with PAGASA to understand how much rainfall within a particular timescale, at a specific location, could result in a major traffic disruption from flooding. With more detailed information, PAGASA is able to produce impact-based forecasts relating to a weather event and how people should take action, as opposed to a general weather forecast that people have to interpret themselves. Tese forecasts help to improve preparedness for adverse weather, and protect the homes, lives and livelihoods of the Philippine population. Te strength of this partnership, and its


effectiveness in the wake of the recent Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines, is outlined in the words of Dr Vicente Malano, PAGASA Officer in Charge, on 10 December 2014: “We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude


for the valuable assistance that the Met Office officials and staff have given PAGASA – DOST during the passage of Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines. Te guidance documents and invaluable insights that you have provided were really very helpful and guided us to better understand Typhoon Hagupit’s behaviour and validate our forecast. Tis heightened our capacity to assess the different models and provided the opportunity to enhance our capability on weather forecasting. “We received many commendations from


various agencies and stakeholders, for exemplary performance through the provision of a reliable and accurate forecast that saved lives during the passage of Typhoon Hagupit.”


EV


To find out more about the Met Office’s work around the world, go to www.metoffice.gov.uk/international- development, or email internationaldevelopment@ metoffice.gov.uk


expertviewmagazine.com EXPERTVIEW SPRING 2015 39


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