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PHL to be completely covered by Doppler radar by 2015 — PAGASA

The anticipated full coverage of the Philippines by Doppler radar will provide state weather forecasters with more complete weather and rainfall information, a PAGASA official said Thursday.

According to PAGASA weather specialist Raymond Ordinario at the Information and Education Communication Campaign for Project NOAH in Davao City, the full coverage of the Philippines by Doppler radar could occur by early 2015 or 2017 at the latest.

The Philippines currently has 11 operational Doppler radars: six under Project NOAH, three donated by the Japanese government and two under PAGASA.

The bidding process to acquire three more Doppler radars for Zamboanga, Panay and Palawan and one mobile radar has begun.

Each radar is expected to effectively cover a 240-kilometer radius, which can be extended to 480 kilometers in the event that long-range detection is needed, especially during storm monitoring.

Once all 15 radars are operational, the Philippines should be effectively covered, except for a few islands in the Visayas which can still be covered by the radars' extended range.

As exciting as this news is for the weather bureau, Ordinario admitted that maintaining the radars will be a challenge.

There are no redundancy measures in place, so when a radar breaks down, repairs would have to be made right away. And with the current manpower problems plaguing PAGASA, it might be short-staffed in the event that it happens.

But with the additional radars comes the opportunity for the Philippines to catch up with its Asian neighbors, said Ordinario. “We're catching up with other Asian countries in providing quality weather information for Filipinos.” — BM, GMA News