PAGASA Rainfall Warning System (RWS)

The PAGASA Rainfall Warning System (RWS) is in operational mode since June 20, 2012 but is still open for suggestions to improve it, the state weather bureau said Thursday.

Initially, PAGASA used the colors YELLOW, GREEN, RED based on the color coding scheme of the Community-Based Flood Early Warning System (CBFEWS) under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) project.

On August 9, 2012, GREEN was changed to ORANGE such that the warning levels are now YELLOW, ORANGE and RED. These colors are generally associated with awareness, preparedness and emergency, respectively.

According to PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando, the color ORANGE was adopted as it is a more appropriate representation of the severity of the situation.

The revision was considered based on suggestions after Information Education Campaign (IEC) efforts with the media and discussions with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Interior and Local Government-National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) were made, PAGASA added.

PAGASA Rainfall Warning System color codes

What are the colors all about?

  • Under the heavy rainfall warning system, a yellow warning is raised when the expected rainfall amount is between 7.5 mm and 15 mm within one hour and likely to continue.
  • Communities given this advisory are advised to be aware of the weather condition and warned that flooding may be possible in low-lying areas.
  • The orange alert is raised in areas where rainfall is between 15 mm and 30 mm within one hour. Flooding is a definite threat in communities under the orange alert.
  • A red alert is issued when downpours constitute an emergency. This is raised when observed rainfall is more than 30 mm within one hour or if rainfall has continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm.
  • When PAGASA raises a red warning, communities should be prepared to respond. It means serious flooding is seen and that residents should be ready to evacuate to safety.