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Southwest monsoon brings more rains than Ondoy

August 7, 2012 7:59pm
The amount of rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon over Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon has surpassed the rainfall dumped by tropical storm “Ondoy” in 2009, an official from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)’s disaster prevention and mitigation system office said Tuesday.
 
Dr. Mahar Lagmay, executive director of DOST’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), said accumulated rainfall from 4:45 p.m. Monday to 3 p.m. Tuesday—a period of 22 hours—reached 472 millimeters.
 
This figure is higher than the 24-hour rainfall of 455 millimeters recorded by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) at the height of Ondoy from 8 a.m. on September 26, 2009 to 8 a.m. the following day.
 
PAGASA said torrential rains experienced over much of Luzon, including Metro Manila, were caused by the southwest monsoon enhanced by Typhoon Haikui, last spotted 300 kilometers northeast of Taiwan.

The intense rainfall has brought widespready flooding in low-lying areas of Quezon City and other heavily populated areas in the capital, and forced many families to flee their homes.
 
Scenes of flooded streets over the past two days have recalled the disaster in September 2009, when tropical storm Ondoy left at least 464 dead in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
 
Different time frames
 
In his Twitter account, Lagmay said that while the accumulated rainfall due to the southwest monsoon is already higher, Ondoy’s rainfall “was compressed over a shorter period (of) time.”
 
Meanwhile, GMA Network’s resident meteorologist Nathaniel Cruz noted how DOST’s measurement of the rainfall from the southwest monsoon and PAGASA’s record of rainfall from Ondoy were taken during different time frames.
 
PAGASA earlier said the amount of rainfall from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday was only 323.5 millimeters—way lower than the volume of rain poured by Ondoy during the same time period.
 
Cruz also pointed out that the incessant rains over the past two days were not brought by any “legitimate weather system,” unlike Ondoy which was a tropical storm.
 
“Ginagamit nating barometro si Ondoy, pero tandaan natin na itong ulan natin ngayon ay hindi naman dala ng bagyo. Wala akong maalalang ganito karaming ulan na dala ng southwest monsoon lamang for the past five years,” he said. - YA/HS, GMA News
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