PAGASA now has four cyclone categories

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(CNN Philippines) — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has officially adopted the super typhoon (STY) category to classify a tropical cyclone.

The need to have the super typhoon category is to have an emphasis on the strength and intensity of the tropical cyclone and the severity of its impact on the community, the state-run weather bureau said in a release dated March 24.

Before the revised classification, PAGASA only used three categories to classify storms.

The term super typhoon was widely utilized by the local media to refer to powerful typhoons like Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, which killed more than 6,000 people and devastated parts of the Visayas.

Tropical cyclones are now classified in four categories: tropical depression (TD), tropical storm (TS), typhoon (TY), and super typhoon.

A tropical depression has maximum sustained winds of up to 61 kilometers per hour (kph), while tropical storm will have sustained winds of 62 to 118 kph.

A typhoon, on the other hand, has wind speeds ranging from 118 to 220 kph, while a super typhoon will have sustained winds of more than 220 kph.

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