Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), marketer of the Caltex brand of fuels assured that the Metro Weather Project, consisting of 18 automated weather systems (AWS) under its supervision, are all working properly as it undergoes regular maintenance procedures.
Implemented in 2013, the Metro Weather Project was created from a successful collaboration between Chevron companies in the Philippines as an enterprise effort, the Manila Observatory (MO), and other organizations such as Globe Telecom and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The project provides near-real time weather information that is integrated to the MMDA Traffic mobile app and can also be accessed online through http://www.panahon.observatory.ph.
The data comes from the project’s 30 AWS units that collect and store weather data that show, among others, the rainfall intensity which can indicate flooding. These AWS units, placed in strategic areas including in 18 Caltex stations within Metro Manila, covers up to 12 million people.
The Metro Weather project is very effective in creating environmental consciousness to the public. According to MO Executive Director Antonia Loyzaga, “The data collected by the AWS assists in refining the identified flooding thresholds that the Metro Manila LGUs [local government units], MMDA, and DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources]-Mines and Geosciences Bureau are monitoring. The data and analysis can be used as part of the evidence-based decision support system for evacuation planning, class cancellations, preparedness planning and zoning, and land-use planning.”
Several caveats from the project, with data coming from all 18 Caltex-hosted units, are recognized especially during the southwest monsoon months. In 2013, the project identified more than 50 flooded areas in Metro Manila from monsoon rains intensified by Tropical Storm Maring. While in the wake of Tropical Storm Mario in September 2014, AWS satellite images indicated strong rainfall activity that caused flooding.