MANILA— More thunderstorms are likely in the coming days, thus people must be alert and prepare accordingly as rain is not the only hazard associated with thunderstorms, the state weather bureau, PAGASA, warned Thursday.
“The other hazards include lightning, tornadoes and hail,” weather forecaster Rene Paciente said, noting that convective activity increases the frequency of thunderstorms.
“Daily thunderstorms are possible,” he said.
With the onset of the southwest monsoon or ‘habagat’ this week, PAGASA expects the dominance of isolated thunderstorms and light to moderate rains until the end of the month.
Paciente said such occurrences are likely during either early mornings, afternoons or evenings.
A thunderstorm episode, he said, may last an hour or less but can bring heavy to torrential rains in areas directly below this weather system, possibly triggering flash floods and landslides.
Paciente further noted that light to moderate rains are also likely until this month’s end since ‘habagat’ just commenced and is still weak.
Tropical cyclones (TCs) however can enhance the ‘habagat’, he pointed out.
The bureau earlier forecast one to two TCs within the Philippine Area of Responsibility this June and two to three more in July, and two to four in August and September.
According to experts, every thunderstorm produces lightning, which can be deadly and destructive.
To help avoid being struck by lightning during thunderstorms, Paciente said people must avoid natural lightning rods, such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
Other experts likewise advised people to avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on water and to instead take shelter in a sturdy building while avoiding contact with anything metal.
Watch out for flying debris during tornadoes and seek shelter immediately, they warned.
Take cover and stay away from windows to guard against hail, they further said.
PAGASA announced on Wednesday the onset of the rain-driving ‘habagat’ in the country this year.
Indicating such onset are the eastward migration of the North Pacific High-Pressure Area and southwesterly wind flow’s dominance over the West Philippine Sea for several days already due to the formation of a semi-permanent trough over Northern Luzon-Taiwan area, noted PAGASA.
PAGASA has however not yet announced the onset of the country’s 2017 wet or rainy season.
Such onset in areas with Type 1 climate may occur between late May or early June, said PAGASA.
Two pronounced seasons characterize Type 1 climate — dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year, noted PAGASA.
Western sections of both Luzon and the Visayas have such climate, the bureau said, noting that these sections are the areas ‘habagat’ affects first.
In its 24-hour forecast released Thursday morning, PAGASA said ‘habagat’ is affecting the western sections of both Luzon and the Visayas.
PAGASA forecast cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms over the west-lying Ilocos and Western Visayas regions, Luzon’s Zambales, Bataan, Mindoro and Palawan provinces, as well as Negros Occidental province in the Visayas.
Meanwhile, partly cloudy to cloudy skies with rain showers or thunderstorms will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of the country, PAGASA also said.
“Light to moderate winds blowing from the southwest will prevail over Luzon and the Visayas and from the southeast to south over Mindanao,” it added.