PMS Convention 2024

A third-year meteorology student bagged the Best Oral Presentation award from the Philippine Meteorological Society (PMS) after presenting their case study on understanding the rainfall events caused by the shear line in Eastern Samar, Philippines during the PMS Convention 2024.

Despite their paper not being a full-blown thesis yet, #ProudViscan Brian G. Añano bested among the 26 paper presenters of the PMS Convention across the country. He revealed that their case study was only a final project for their laboratory class on Mete 132: Synoptic Meteorology II in their sophomore year.

“The paper that I presented at the PMS Convention was not a legit thesis or research paper since we conducted this during the second year, second semester, as a final project for the laboratory component of Mete 132, a theory course on meteorology,” he shared.

“The thing was, even if it was only a project, I really took it seriously.”

Añano, together with his groupmates namely Joshua Agomaa, Daryll Cabellon, Lendie Paderes, and Rio Beth Sinon co-authored the paper “Characterizing shearline-induced rainfall events in Eastern Samar, Philippines during the winter monsoon season”.

“Basically, the gist [of the paper] is to quantitatively describe the rainfall events in Eastern Samar province that were caused by the shear line, formerly called the ‘tail-end of the cold front’. Shear lines occur during the Northeast Monsoon season or Amihan season,” he explained.

The inspiration behind their chosen topic was to raise awareness about the shear line to the general public since the term is still novel in the country and only a few studies about shear line were published in the field of meteorology in the Philippines. 

“There are still many people who do not understand the nature of shear lines, especially since the terminology was just recently introduced in mainstream media to the general public.”

According to Añano, people often associate bad weather with typhoons, low pressure areas (LPAs), the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), or even thunderstorms, but not shear lines.

“Since Eastern Samar is badly affected by shear lines and the majority of the people are confused about what a shear line is, hence, we were inspired to conduct this study.”

With this gap, their group conducted a data gathering from the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) Guiuan Weather Station in Guiuan, Eastern Samar which is also the hometown of Añano.

They studied the amount and duration of rainfall caused by the shear line; the number of rainfall events caused by the shear line in every Amihan season, and the progression of shear line events through time.

Añano explained that shear line is a weather event that causes long periods of rain, albeit not always continuous, but repetitive. He noted that even if the rain fluctuates, it can result in a high risk of flooding and landslides in the affected area.

They gathered the rainfall data at Guiuan, Eastern Samar in every Amihan season from October 2003 to March 2023. They found out that on average, around six rainfall events associated with the shear line occurred and affected Eastern Samar every Amihan season from 2003 to 2023.

“Shearline-induced rainfall events (SREs) were found to generally cause only light rainfall, but their maximum precipitation can range from light rainfall up to heavy or intense rainfall and they can last typically for around four (4) days. Data analyses also showed that the onset of shearline-induced precipitation generally occurs in November, followed by a spike in activity towards a two-month peak in December-January with decreasing trend thereafter,” as written in their abstract.

Despite not being able to find an obvious long-term pattern from the results of their study, Añano and his group recommended that further research might consider the influence of climate drivers such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) to understand the development of shear lines and their associated precipitation.

Brian_Añano_2.jpegPhoto courtesy of Blaise Christian Perez, Member of the 2024 PMS Convention’s Creatives and Documentation Committee

Añano is the first #ProudViscan to join the PMS Convention, a platform where meteorologists, professionals, experts, and practitioners of meteorology, including members of the academe gather annually for the scientific conference.

After winning big in the PMS Convention, Añano was approached by people from PAGASA who commended his presentation, and they talked about the challenge of forecasting and communicating about the shear line in the mainstream media.

“I couldn’t believe that I won because there were many good papers presented with great research methodologies. While the paper I presented was only a case study.”

He further explained that he was too hesitant to present the paper in the first place. But because of the encouragement of his instructors and classmates, who trusted in his potential, he eventually gave in and submitted their abstract for evaluation before the conference.

“I received recommendations to publish our case study into a legit thesis. I tried submitting it to some experts for improvements since there are limitations in the study.”

Añano was accompanied at the Convention by Mr. Charlindo Torrion, a faculty member from the Department of Meteorology. He extended his gratitude to his family, and their department for convincing him to join the conference and to the VSU Administration, especially to Dr. Aleli A. Villocino, the Vice-President of Student Affairs and Services at the university, for approving the needed papers. 

“To my co-authors, thank you for being with me every step of the way.”

#ProudViscan Añano highlighted that his attendance at the PMS Convention was a meaningful experience where he learned a lot, especially in the field of research in meteorology. He also met different students from other universities. 

“It opened my eyes to the greater world of meteorology. It made me want to discover more about many topics in meteorology and learn more about doing research in meteorology.”

“It was a humbling experience. It led me to become reflective. My win at the PMS Convention was not about recognition, but responsibility. The award is an eye-opener for me that I have to do more in my studies, to contribute to the field of meteorology. To live up to my name as the ‘best presenter’.”

His advice to his fellow students is to be enthusiastic about what they do. It was curiosity, interest, and concern with the firsthand experiences of the shear line that pushed him and his team to conduct the study.

“Our case study was simple but matters not only to me but to all of us. Meteorology not only concerns meteorologists but everyone.”

He is planning to contribute to the tome of knowledge about the shear line as he intends to pursue a study on the same weather system for his undergraduate thesis.

The PMS Annual Convention, in collaboration with DOST-PAGASA, happened from March 18 to 20, 2024 in Quezon City. It was spearheaded by the Philippine Meteorological Society (PMS), a non-stock non-profit organization that aims to promote meteorology and its allied scientific fields across the country.

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