A meteorologist dismissed online claims that Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 8 will be possibly hoisted over Extreme Northern Luzon due to the threat of Super Typhoon Henry.
ABS-CBN resident meteorologist Ariel Rojas informed Filipinos that the state weather bureau’s maximum signal for Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWS) is only up to Number 5.
He added that this is the highest wind signal that can be raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
“There are only 5 Wind Signals used by @dost_pagasa,” Rojas tweeted.
“While Signal No. 5 is for Super Typhoon, #HenryPH is non-landfalling. PAGASA clarified today that the highest wind signal that may be raised is Signal No. 3,” he added on Wednesday, accompanying his post with an infographic from the state weather bureau.
I’ve been alerted of Signal No. 8 making rounds on socmed.
1. There are only 5 Wind Signals used by @dost_pagasa.
— Ariel Rojas (@arielrojasPH) August 31, 2022
“You’re on the internet already. Please get your weather updates from reliable sources only,” Rojas added.
His post came after false claims that Signal No. 8 could be raised over the extreme northern parts of the country due to “Henry” circulated on social media.
Among the viral posts is an edited video on TikTok, which includes a voice-over of a supposed newscaster.
She claimed that the certain signal number might be possibly raised when the super typhoon merges with the “Low Pressure Area” inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
The “low pressure area” or LPA mentioned in the video refers to Tropical Depression Gardo.
Tropical Depression is the lowest classification of a tropical cyclone, according to PAGASA’s website. It is different from a low pressure area.
Once an LPA reaches maximum sustained winds of up to 62 kilometers per hour, it will be called a Tropical Depression.
While it is true that “Gardo” was expected to be absorbed within the circulation of the mightier “Henry,” claims of Signal No. 8 being possibly raised are false.
PAGASA’s maximum TCWS is at Signal No. 5, where the wind threat is 185 kilometers per hour or higher.
However, its past weather bulletins for Super Typhoon Henry do not indicate such a signal number so far.
Based on its latest bulletin as of 5 p.m., September 1, “the potential for hoisting a Wind Signal No. 2 is not ruled out.”
Signal No. 1, meanwhile, is hoisted over Batanes and the northeastern portion of the Babuyan Group of Islands.
This means an expected wind threat of 39-61 kilometers per hour within at most 36 hours from the time the signal was put into effect.
“Henry” is the country’s first super typhoon and the eighth tropical cyclone of the year.
It is forecast to bring rains to Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands, as well as enhance the prevailing southwest monsoon or “habagat” in the country.