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The Philippine Public Storm Warning Signals


Public Storm Warning Signals are raised to warn the public of incoming weather
disturbances. Once a Storm Signal is raised, conditions are not yet necessarily felt in the
given area. The following are the lead times for issuing a Public Storm Signal:

 The weather disturbance is expected in 36 hours once Public Storm Warning


Signal No. 1 is raised.
 The weather disturbance is expected in 24 hours once Public Storm Warning
Signal No. 2 is raised.
 The weather disturbance is expected in 18 hours once Public Storm Warning
Signal No. 3 is raised.
 The weather disturbance is expected in 12 hours once Public Storm Warning
Signal No. 4 is raised.

Lead time shortens if a new weather bulletin is issued and the area’s Public Storm Signal
Warning remains the same.

As the weather disturbance moves through the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR),
Public Storm Signals may be upgraded or downgraded.

An area’s given signal number is based on the intensity, size of circulation and the
forecast direction, and speed of the tropical storm or typhoon when the Public Storm
Warning Signal is raised. Changes in intensity, size of circulation, or movement of the
tropical cyclone also determines the change of the Public Storm Warning Signal in a given
area.

SIGNAL #1

Meteorological Conditions:

 A tropical cyclone will threaten/affect an area.


 Winds of 30-60 kph is expected.
 Intermittent rains may be expected in at least 36 hours. (When the tropical cyclone
develops very close to an area, a shorter lead time of the occurrence of the winds
will be specified in the warning bulletin.)

Impact of the Winds:

 Twigs and branches of small trees may be broken.


 Some banana plants may be tilted or uprooted.
 Some houses of very light materials may be partially unroofed.
 Only very light or no damage may be sustained by areas affected.
 Rice crops in flowering stage may suffer significant damage.
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Precautionary Measures:

 When the tropical cyclone intensifies and moves closer, this warning signal number
may be upgraded.
 The waves on coastal waters may gradually develop and swell.
 The people are advised to listen to the latest severe weather bulletin issued by
PAGASA every six hours.
 Business may be carried out as usual except when floods occur.
 Disaster preparedness units are activated to alert status.

SIGNAL #2

Meteorological Conditions:

 A tropical cyclone will affect an area.


 Winds of greater than 60 kph and up to 100 kph may be expected in at least 24
hours.

Impact of the Winds:

 Some coconut trees may tilt; some of them may break.


 Few big trees may be uprooted.
 Many banana plants may be downed.
 Rice and corn crops may be affected.
 A large number of houses made of light materials may be unroofed.
 Old galvanized iron roofing may be peeled off.
 In general, the winds may bring light to moderate damage to the exposed
communities.

Precautionary Measures:

 The sea and coastal waters are dangerous to small seacraft.


 Special attention should be given to the latest position, direction and movement
speed, and intensity of the storm as it moves toward an area.
 The public especially people traveling by sea and air are cautioned.
 Outdoor activities of children should be postponed.
 Secure properties before the signal is upgraded.
 Disaster preparedness agencies/organizations are in action to alert their
communities.

SIGNAL #3

Meteorological Conditions:
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 A tropical cyclone will affect an area.
 Winds of greater than 100 kph up to 185 kph may be expected in at least 18
hours.

Impact of the Winds:

 Many coconut trees may be broken or destroyed.


 Almost all banana plants may be downed and a large number of trees may be
uprooted.
 Rice and corn crops may suffer heavy losses.
 Majority of light material houses may be unroofed or destroyed. There may be
considerable damage to structures of light to medium construction.
 There may be widespread disruption of electrical power and communication
services.
 In general, moderate to heavy damage may be experienced, particularly in the
agricultural and industrial sectors.

Precautionary Measures:

 The weather condition is dangerous to the communities affected.


 The sea and coastal waters will be very dangerous to all seacraft.
 Travel is very risky especially by air and sea.
 People are advised to seek shelter in strong buildings, evacuate low-lying areas,
and stay away from the coasts and riverbanks.
 Watch out for the passage of the eye of the typhoon indicated by a sudden
occurrence of fair weather immediately after very bad weather, with very strong
winds coming generally from the north.
 When the eye of the typhoon hit the community, do not venture away from the safe
shelter because after one to two hours, the worst weather will resume, with the
very strong winds coming from the south.
 Classes in all levels should be suspended and children should stay in the safety of
strong buildings.
 Disaster preparedness and response agencies/organizations are in action with
appropriate response to emergency.

SIGNAL #4

Meteorological Conditions:

 A very intense typhoon will affect the area.


 Very strong winds of more than 185 kph may be expected in at least 12 hours.

Impact of the Winds:

 Coconut plantations may suffer extensive damage.


 Many large trees may be uprooted.
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 Rice and corn plantation may suffer severe losses.
 Most residential and institutional buildings of mixed construction may be severely
damaged.
 Electrical power distribution and communication services may be severely
disrupted.
 Damage to affected communities can be very heavy.

Precautionary Measures:

 The situation is potentially very destructive to the community.


 All travels and outdoor activities should be cancelled.
 Evacuation to safer shelters should have been completed.
 The area is very likely to be hit directly by the eye of the typhoon.
 As the eye of the typhoon approaches, the weather will worsen continuously, with
winds increasing to its strongest coming generally from the north.
 A sudden improvement of the weather with light winds will be experienced, which
means the area is under the eye of the typhoon.
 Depending on the eye’s diameter and movement speed, this improved weather
may last for an hour or two.
 As the eye moves out of the area, weather conditions will worsen, with strong winds
generally coming from the south.
 The disaster coordinating councils concerned and other disaster response
organizations are now fully responding to emergencies.

SIGNAL #5
SUPER TYPHOON

Meteorological Conditions:

 A Super Typhoon will affect the area.


 Very strong winds of more than 220 kph may be expected in at least 12 hours.

Impact of the Winds:

 Almost total damage to structures of light materials, especially in highly exposed


coastal areas.
 Complete roof failure on many buildings. Severe and extensive window and door
damage.
 Most residential and institutional buildings of mixed construction may be severely
damaged.
 Electrical power distribution and communication services severely disrupted.
 All signboards blown down.
 Total damage to banana plantation.
 Most tall trees are broken, uprooted, or defoliated.
 Coconut tress are stooped, broken, or uprooted.
 Few plants and tress survived.
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Precautionary Measures:

 The situation is potentially extremely destructive or catastrophic to the


community.
 All travels and outdoor activities should be cancelled.
 Evacuation to safer shelters should have been completed since it may have been
too late for this situation.
 The area is very likely to be hit directly by the eye of the typhoon.
 As the eye of the typhoon approaches, the weather will worsen continuously, with
winds increasing to its strongest coming generally from the north.
 A sudden improvement of the weather with light winds will be experienced, which
means the area is under the eye of the typhoon.
 Depending on the eye’s diameter and movement speed, this improved weather
may last for an hour or two.
 As the eye moves out of the area, weather conditions will worsen, with strong winds
generally coming from the south.
 The disaster coordinating councils concerned and other disaster response
organizations are now fully responding to emergencies and in full readiness to
immediately respond to possible calamity..

Rainfall Warning Signals

New PAGASA Color-Coded Rainfall Warning Signals


This confusion is probably the reason why effective today, August 9, PAGASA and the
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) decided to replace the “Green” warning
signal with “Orange”.

In their official website, the DOST announced that the new official rainfall warning color
signals are:

 Yellow: MONITOR weather conditions


 Orange: ALERT for possible danger and evacuation
 Red: EVACUATE due to high potential of danger
The “Green” warning signal has been dropped and replaced with “Orange”. For me, this
is better so as to avoid confusion. Here’s what the colored warning signals mean.
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Meanings of the Color-Coded Warning Signals

The “Yellow” signal remains as the most basic level. It means that there is heavy rain
— or 7.5 to 15 mm of rain has been observed in the past hour and is expected to
continue at this level. Flooding is possible that’s why people must MONITOR weather
conditions and listen to weather updates in order to be constantly informed.
The “Orange” signal has replaced the “Green” signal as the next level of warning. The
“orange signal” means rain is intense, or in technical terms, around 15 to 30 mm of rain
has been observed in the past hour and is expected to continue at this level in the next
two hours. People are advised to be ALERT for possible evacuation because flood may
be a definite threat.
The “Red” signal constitutes an emergency. Serious flooding is expected, especially in
low lying areas, because the amount of rain has reached a critical level, that is, more
than 30 mm observed in the past hour and expected to continue in the next two hours.
People are advised to EVACUATE when the “Red” signal is raised in their areas.