DOST activates new Doppler radar for Visayas

With the Pagasa modernization program in full swing, it is expected that the agency will be able to further improve and upgrade its weather forecasting by covering the entire Visayas region with the inauguration of the Iloilo Doppler Radar and Synoptic Station located in Barangay Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City.

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The station is one of the facilities that Pagasa recently put into operation to provide more accurate weather data for a more precise weather forecasting not only in Iloilo but the entire Visayas region.

“This Doppler Radar and Synoptic Station is the 13th of the targeted 15 Doppler radars by year-end that will provide more accurate forecasting to enable our farmers, our communities to prepare ahead of time when there is a coming typhoon because this will give us detailed data to predict the amount of rainfall in particular areas at a particular given time,” said DOST secretary Mario G. Montejo.

The Doppler radar is capable of scanning and monitoring rain clouds as far as Masbate and Sorsogon area in the north and Surigao and Davao area plus the whole of Visayas region and thus enabling “nowcasting” where an impending typhoon can be easily detected and tracked, allowing for three hours lead time.

Montejo said the Doppler will be very useful not only on weather monitoring but for other applications, as well. “The Iloilo Doppler Radar will provide us with data sets that will be helpful in managing crop planting so farmers will know weather conditions suitable for planting, applying fertilizer and harvesting,” he said.

The Doppler radar will also enhance the capability of Pagasa to mitigate the negative effect of El Niño by detecting rain clouds used for cloud seeding to induce rain. With this sophisticated weather equipment, the supply of water for irrigation and agriculture will be assured and water shortage can be averted.

The Doppler radar will enable to weather forecasts for the different areas in Iloilo province and in the entire Visayas region, helping farmers, businessmen, students and the people in general, Montejo said.

After the ceremonial ribbon cutting, the science secretary together with special guests and Pagasa officials toured the entire facility including the command center where weather monitoring is done using computers and other equipment. The land were the Pagasa station is located was donated by the Department of Agriculture.

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