6 to 9 tropical cyclones still expected to enter, form within PAR in 2022 – PAGASA

Around six to nine tropical cyclones may still develop within or enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) in 2022, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Children bracing for the impacts of 'Rolly' in 2020 (Jansen Romero / Manila Bulletin)

The Philippines, labeled as the most tropical cyclone-visited country in the world, records an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year according to PAGASA. The country, as of September 2022, has already recorded 12 tropical cyclones – three of which were super typhoons named Henry (international name: Hinnamnor), Josie (international name: Nanmadol), and Karding (international name: Noru).

Of these super typhoons, only Karding ravaged the Philippine landmass.

Asked how many tropical cyclones are still expected to enter or form within the Philippine boundary, PAGASA Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano said they are still expecting around six to nine cyclones until the end of this year.

“Sa Oktubre ay meron tayong dalawa hanggang apat. Sa November ay meron tayong dalawa hanggang tatlo. Sa December ay merong hanggang dalawa. Nasa 6 to 9 pa ang bagyo na maaari mabuo itong taon na ito statistics na ating sinusundan (In October we may have two to four. In November we are expecting two to three. In December there may be up to two. In total, there may be six to 9 tropical cyclones that can form this year based on the statistics we follow),” said Malano in a Laging Handa public briefing.

Modification of 'super typhoon' definition

Malano also explained the reason why the Philippines appear to record more super typhoons in 2022 compared to the previous years.

“Kaya po naging ganito nagbago tayo ng sistema. Dati ang super typhoon kapag lumagpas ng more than 220 kilometers per hour, pero sa ngayon, kasama na ang ibang bansa na miyembro ng World Meteorological Organization, ay binago natin ang ating sistema na magmula 185 kph ay atin na itong kina-kategorya super typhoon (The reason why it became like this is because we changed the system. Previously, we only label a tropical cyclone as a super typhoon when it exceeded more than 220 kph, but now, together with other countries that are members of the WMO, we changed our system, categorizing a cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 185 kph as a super typhoon),” Malano explained.

The new system used by PAGASA is now in-sync with the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), a command center responsible for cyclone forecasts and warnings for the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean basins.