A huge waterspout was seen by some residents early Saturday afternoon in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza, a phenomenon described by local weather experts as associated with the local weather disturbance around the area and not at all related to Typhoon “Rolly”.
Local Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather observer Allain Joy Lusoc said the rotating column of water and spray was most likely caused by the convergence of winds in the Balabac area and somewhere else in southern Palawan.
“Yong convergence niya, plus bumabangga siya sa land mass, malaking land mass ng southern portion. Kapag bumangga yong hangin lalo na may kalakasan yong hangin natin, kapag umangat iyan is lalamig, yong molecule nyan ay magko-condense at magpo-form ng kaulapan. Kapag nagsama-sama ay puwede mag-generate ng kaulapan na puwedeng magdulot ng pag-ulan. Kung malakas ang orographic lifting niya at may convective force pa siya na kasama, magkakaroon ng cumulonimbus,” Lusoc said.
Lusoc explained that cumulonimbus is also known as thunderstorm clouds, and included on its hazards are lightning, thunder, and the cloud panel called tornado or “ipoipo”.
He said it cannot be Rolly as the super typhoon has no direct effect in Palawan as it is located in the western section.
“Cumulonimbus talaga iyan ang nagdudulot ng buhawi, waterspout natin sa dagat at sa lupa. Isolated cases yan na kapag may bagyo ka talaga, maramihang buhawi ang ma-generate. Isolated ito, dulot lang ‘yan ng pailan-ilang cell ng cumulonimbus na nag-ge-generate into buhawi,” he said.
He added that even if there is no storm, tornadoes can still be generated as long as there are cumulonimbus clouds.
Local PAGASA chief Sonny Pajarilla further explained that the direct effect of typhoon Rolly is the changes in wind circulation.
The northerly and southwesterly winds are causing circulation in the southern part of the provinces, and this results in rains in the towns Bataraza, Rizal, Brooke’s Point, Sofronio Española, and other parts of Puerto Princesa.
“Meron talagang thunderstorm ngayon, dulot ng tinatawag na convergence dahil sa ating bagyo. Mayroon mga convergence ang ating hangin. Ang northerly at northwesterly winds tapos meron tayong southwesterly na component na nanggagaling sa equator. Dahil doon nagdudulot ng development ng thunderstorm. Kung sasabihin na direktang dahil sa bagyo, malayong-malayo ang bagyo sa atin kaya hindi ganon,” he said.
“Hindi talaga ‘yan direkta (epekto ng bagyo), malayong-malayo ang bagyo. Kino-connect natin, hindi rin kasi magkakaroon ng ganong uri ng wind system na magko-cause ng thunderstorm na ganyan kung walang bagyo kasi magiging easterly winds tayo, transition. Pero dahil may bagyo, nagbago ang ihip ng hangin, iyon lang ang connectivity noon,” he added.
On Saturday, a netizen posted online a picture of a spotted tornado in Barangay Rio Tuba, Bataraza around 1:39 p.m.
Jherilyn Fernadez Goh said that the tornado was observed for about five minutes after which the skies turned dark.
“First time po kasi yan dito sa amin nangyari and since na may paparating na super typhoon, siyempre medyo natakot kami,” sabi ni Jherilyn. Dagdag pa niya, ito ang unang beses na makakita siya ng ipoipo sa kanilang lugar.
(With reports from Jane Tumalac)