Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hopeless PAG-ASA

When typhoon "Emong" hit land early this month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAG-ASA) chief weather forecaster said, “Let us be prepared, It is the start of the storm season in the Philippines.” The welcome rains came but not in torrential downpour to quench the scorched earth. So a day after, he made another statement - “The rains may be here, but it’s too early to say goodbye to summer.” Wtf!!@#$%^&*.

But less than a week later, PAG-ASA said six more storms are expected to hit the country between now (May 12) and July. The following day it declares that the rainy season is officially here. But the summer heat persisted with a devilish vengeance, but PAG-ASA claims that heat during rainy season is normal. Wtf!@#$%^&* again.

The end of May nears, it's now two and a half weeks into the rainy season and we have not had a drop of rain. For the six-storms-before-July prediction to be true, PAG-ASA must now be doing the rain dance and singing their lungs out offkey, praying for six storms in June. I remember the joke about the predicted storm that did not come because "masama ang panahon". Now PAG-ASA can claim the the storms thid not come because they did not like the hot Manila weather.

Correct weather forecasts are important in a country where 40% of the national product comes from agriculture. Farmers need to know when they can start to plant, to take advantage of the rains. I know weather forecasting is difficult, but the PAG-ASA versions are way off. Amanda Pineda (PAG-ASA-A, the Tessie Tomas character in Champoy) gave more accurate forecasts. And the real PAG-ASA's forecasts are funnier.

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