Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Typhoon in the Philippines

The word "typhoon" was derived from Cantonese "tai fung" which means "great wind". Locally called "bagyo" in tagalog. Typhoon is a tropical cyclone in which the surface windspeed exceeds 119 km per hour (76 miles).

Typhoons form over warm oceans when several thunderstorms release heat as moisture that condenses to form rain. The center, or "eye", is a calm area about 30 km (19 miles) in diameter and of very low barometric pressure. Around the eye, cyclonic winds spread over an area up to 1500 km (190 miles) in diameter, with the maximum intensity just outside the eye. Winds circling the eye are accompanied by torrential rain and can reach 300 km (190 miles) per hour in extreme cases.

In the Philippines, the typhoon season is June to November. They are most common north of 15 degrees N and very rare south of  10 degrees N. There is a three-stage warning system in the Philippines. Signal 1 means, a possible typhoon within 72 hours, signal 2 within 48 hours and signal 3 within 36 hours. With 7107 islands in this archipelago, there will always be good, safe picnic, touring, mountain climbing, diving, etc in the lee of an island somewhere!

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