Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Southwest Monsoon in Luzon Update

Note: For the latest Video Update posted an hour ago, please click HERE

The Southwest Monsoon (Hanging Habagat) continues to bring torrential rainfall and has virtually shut down the capital of the Philippines--Manila. Schools, businesses, and government offices were closed today due to the heavy rains that begun yesterday. In and across the capital, nearly 20,000 residents have been evacuated, many of the living near rivers and dams that have reached critical or spilling levels. Overall, NDRRMC is reporting that as many as 200,000 people have been affected by the rains in one way or another not only in Manila but also the nearly 10 provinces near the National Capital Region.

IR Image from NOAA

Latest satellite image shows the bands of clouds continue to move into Luzon. Typhoon Haikui, located well north of Luzon and is about to make landfall in Eastern China, is partly enhancing the SW Monsoon. It is expected that as Haikui weakens in the next 2 days, so will the monsoonal rains. Unfortunately for Luzon, people will still have to contend with the rains for the next 24 to 48 hours.

According to PAGASA, rainfall from today's rains have now surpassed that of Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) which struck the capital back in 2009. A total of 472mm (18.5in) fell in a matter of 22 hours today, compared with the 455mm (18in) that Ondoy brought in 24 hours nearly two years ago. As expected, this deluge resulted into widespread flooding with many major thoroughfares across Manila submerged in floods of up to waist and even neck-deep. Even the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), which is a major artery connecting Manila and Northern Luzon, couldn't handle the massive rainfall amounts; some of its sections have floods reaching cars and even buses. This expressway is currently not passable stranding many motorists along the way.

Several rivers have also swollen into their banks, more significantly the Marikina and Tullahan Rivers. Nearly 1,000 families living near their banks have now been evacuated. Dams have also reached critical and even spilling levels. The three nearest dams to Manila--La Mesa, Ipo, and Angat--have all been spilling water since early this morning. Communities in and around these dams have suffered greatly in terms of flooding.

Radar from PAGASA (ClimateX)

Latest radar from Subic shows that moderate to heavy rains continue to form over the West Philippine Sea moving eastward into Central Luzon. Many areas here have reported anywhere between 200 and 400mm of rainfall so far and it seems another 100 to 200mm of rain is possible tonight. Red Warning from PAGASA remains in effect which basically means very heavy rain is still expected and that residents in low-lying areas should evacuate now. For more radar images and location-specific rainfall forecasts, please click HERE (ClimateX website; NOAH from PAGASA seems to be suffering from the massive traffic brought by today's event)

This is a serious situation developing in Manila. Please continue listening or watching the news for the latest developments in your area. Major stations in the country (GMA, ABS CBN, TV5) are all providing live updates about the rains and also the status of rivers, dams, school cancellations, government and private work cancellations, flight delays, etc. You can also go to the web for the latest updates. Our affiliate, Western Pacific Weather, is providing continuous live updates on this storm so please check them out as well. Visit them by clicking HERE

Finally, nothing can convey these information better than images, videos, and on the ground reports. If you have anything to share to use, please email us at philippineweather@yahoo.com so we can use them on our Video Updates as well as on our articles. More importantly, we hope you and your loved ones remain safe during this tough times. We'll have another update tomorrow.
Issued (1030 UTC) 630pm PhT 080712

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