How typhoons are rated, so how strong is a super typhoon?

How typhoons are rated, so how strong is a super typhoon? The following article should give us a simple overview of how typhoons are rated (in strength) when it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

The Philippines is expecting another powerful typhoon this Friday and fears for its wrath are up.

However, both the national government and local governments have put in place measures to lessen the impact of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) on lives and the economy.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), in its 6am bulletin Wednesday, said the eye of the typhoon was located at 1,411 kms. east of Mindanao with maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

2:57AM (07NOV’13)
Expect light to moderate to at times heavy rains over #Cebu (Camotes Island) w/in an hour. People are advised to monitor the weather condition and for the next advisory. PAGASA-DOST Visayas.

The typhoon, which is the 24th cyclone to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this year, is forecast to make a landfall over the Samar-Leyte provinces.

What are the characteristics of a Typhoon Signal No. 4?

According to the weather bureau, this meteorological condition has a “very strong wind of more than 185 kph”, almost twice as fast as the allowable speed in the North Luzon Express Way (NLEX), that is expected in at least 12 hours.

If you still cannot visualize how strong the wind of a typhoon belonging to this category is, read on.

The PAGASA website said wind strength of a typhoon belonging to Signal No. 4 can cause “extensive damage” to a coconut plantation and “many large trees may be uprooted.”

Take note: coconut trees are among the plants that can withstand heavy winds.

The strong wind brought by a Super Typhoon is also expected to cause “severe losses” to rice and corn plantation as well as most residential and institutional buildings.

It can also “severely” disrupt the distribution of electricity and communication services.

“In the over-all, damage to affected communities can be very heavy,” the PAGASA storm information showed.

Thus, the weather bureau advised “all travels and outdoor activities” to be cancelled as “the situation is potentially very destructive to the community.”

“Evacuation to safer shelters should have been completed since it may be too late under this situation,” it said.

The area where the eye of the typhoon is “is very likely” to be hit directly, thus, as it approaches an area “the weather will continuously worsen with the winds increasing to its strongest coming generally from the north.”

Once the eye of the storm is out of a locality a lull on the intensity of the wind’s strength is expected for one to two hours “depending on the diameter of the eye and the speed of movement.”

PAGASA said that as the eye moves away from the locality it recently left, the “the worst weather experienced before the lull will suddenly commence.”

So, people should still take shelter in safe places until the sky clears totally and the cyclone is out of the locality.

The last time the country experienced a Signal No.4 typhoon is last September when Typhoon Odette entered the country through the Batanes Group of islands and ravaged Northern Luzon.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that typhoon Odette affected at least 10,406 families in 94 villages in 23 towns and two cities in 11 provinces namely Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, and and those in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, and Western Visayas. (PNA article by Joann Santiago)


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