Philippine weather bureau: Typhoon Gardo not the same as Yolanda

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Gardo
Super Typhoon Yolanda was more powerful than Typhoon Gardo and also had a different track. Screenshots of PAGASA data.

The state weather bureau PAGASA has said that Typhoon Gardo is different to the Super Typhoon Yolanda that devastated Central Visayas in 2013.

The differences, according to PAGASA Weather Division chief Esperanza Cayanan, are the following:

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Classification

  • Gardo is a typhoon, with maximum winds of 200kph (124mph) near the centre as of this morning (Monday, July 9).
  • Yolanda was a super typhoon, with maximum winds that reached 235kph (146mph).

“If you look at the circulation of Yolanda compared to Gardo, it covered a much wider area and it brought stronger winds and heavier rainfall.”

Track

  • Gardo will not make landfall. It will remain near the upper boundary of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
  • Yolanda made landfall, directly hitting provinces in the Visayas.

“Yolanda’s track was lower, it really hit our country. But Gardo will just stay in the corner of the PAR, so it’s far from land. We won’t directly feel the effects of its winds, so we are just preparing for the rainfall.”

Cayanan also explained why the USA’ Joint Typhoon Warning Center has classified Gardo as a Super Typhoon.

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“The JTWC has different guidelines for classifying winds, so theirs will really be stronger. You’re comparing, ‘Why is the typhoon stronger in the US, and weaker here in the Philippines?’ It’s because the JTWC uses the one-minute average for wind classification, unlike here in PAGASA and for other typhoon committee members in Asia – what we use officially is the 10-minute average, that’s why there will really be a discrepancy.”

Gardo not a super typhoon

PAGASA Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Engineering Services Catalino Davis reiterated that Gardo is only a typhoon based on their standards. A super typhoon, for PAGASA, has maximum winds exceeding 220kph (137MPH). 

“Of course, its maximum winds have not exceeded 220kph, so we can’t insist it’s a super typhoon. We’re following our official classification,” he said.

PAGASA also underscored that it was the official weather authority for the Philippines.

“PAGASA is the one officially mandated when it comes to providing advisories, warnings, and forecasts for the PAR. We’re a member of the World Meteorological Organisation, that’s why this is our mandate and the data that we give are considered the official data.”

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