MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Tropical storm Butchoy (international codename Guchol) has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Thursday morning, June 14, state weather bureau PAGASA said in a press conference.
In its latest forecast, PAGASA said Butchoy was estimated at 880 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, having maximum sustained winds of 85 km per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph.
Butchoy is still moving towards the west northwest direction at 24 kph, and is forecast not to make landfall in the country. PAGASA data estimates rainfall around the center of the storm to be around 15-25 millimeters per hour.
No public storm warning signals have been raised so far.
By Friday and Saturday, Butchoy will start to enhance the southwest monsoon, bringing rains over the Visayas and Mindanao.
It is expected to be 560 km east of Virac, Catanduanes on Friday morning, June 15, 320 km Northeast of Virac the next morning, and 310 km Northeast of Apari by Sunday morning.
Bicol and Eastern Visayas will also feel the effects of the enhanced monsoon by Friday. Fishermen and seafarers in these areas are also warned of rough seas.
Earlier, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecast Butsoy to slow down and gradually intensify, and could become a typhoon within the next 24 hours.
Forecast models by the NOAA, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, and the Japan Meteorological Agency show the storm narrowly grazing northern Luzon, or missing it altogether.
PAGASA, meanwhile, also forecasts the storm to miss land, but is not discounting the possibility of the storm crossing the Visayas.
Benito Ramos, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), warned local governments in the eastern seaboard of the country, specifically those in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, CARAGA, SOCCSKSARGEN, and Southern Mindanao regions, to prepare for flooding, heavy rains, and landslides.
Ramos said local government units have already activated and convened their local disaster councils to review contingency plans in preparation for ‘Butsoy.’ Evacuation centers, medicines, and other supplies have also been prepared, he said.
The weather bureau is also closely monitoring water levels of major dams, especially in Luzon, as rain continued to fall over the area.
For the bureau’s forecast for Thursday, Luzon will still continue feeling the effects of the Southwest Monsoon, forecast to experience occasional rains, especially over the western sections of the region.
For Thursday, western sections of Visayas and Mindanao will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms; the rest of the archipelago will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rains.
Moderate to strong winds will be blowing from the southwest, the weather bureau said, causing moderate to rough seas.
Temperatures across the country will average between 22-31 degrees Celsius, while Baguio will experience cooler temperatures at 16-21 degrees Celsius. – Rappler.com
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