Published: June 15, 2012
Bagyong Butchoy or Tropical Storm Guchol is estimated 480 kilometers East, Northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar or at coordinates 12.2°N, 130.5°E, this is based on satellite and surface data.
PAGASA’s data suggest that Bagyong Butchoy has maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 140 kilometers per hour. It is currently taking the North, Northwest direction at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.
It is forecast that Luzon will experience occasional rains. Eastern Visayas will have cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rainshowers and thunderstorms which may trigger flashfloods and landslides. The rest of the country will be mostly cloudy with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest to south will prevail over Luzon and coming from the southwest to west over the rest of the country with moderate to rough seas.
Meanwhile, a reading from Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) suggests that Bagyong Butchoy (Guchol) is now a full-blown typhoon starting Thursday night with sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour. This seems to be in contrast with PAGASA’s.
The Philippine Weather Bureau’s standard says that a severe storm could only be categorized as a typhoon if it reaches winds of at least 118 kilometers per hour. This, actually, brings confusion to the mind of the people knowing that JTWC has more sophisticated weather equipment than the Philippines’ own.
PAGASA has been a target of criticisms before because of inaccurate forecasts so it couldn’t be deleted from the mind of the people that this could be yet another misreading. A Philippine-based weather watcher website, Typhoon.ph, has collated readings of Bagyong Butchoy.
USA (JTWC/1-min avg): 165 kph
Japan (JMA/10-min avg): 110 kph
Philippines (PAGASA/10-min avg): 110 kph
Beijing (NMC/2-min avg): 125 kph
Taiwan (CWB/10-min avg): 105 kph
Korea (KMA/10-min avg): 120 kph
Hong Kong (HKO/10-min avg): 105 kph
The Filipino people are hoping PAGASA could shed light on this matter. If this is just another misreading, it should be corrected immediately. As much as we are hoping for the best, it is imperative we should take Bagyong Butchoy seriously.