Low pressure area might enter PAR, become Paeng
MANILA, Philippines – A low pressure area (LPA) which could develop into a tropical depression is still being monitored outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
In a Facebook Live video past 5 pm on Thursday, September 20, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA is now 2,245 kilometers east northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
It is expected to enter PAR either on Saturday, September 22, or Sunday, September 23.
If it does develop into a tropical depression – possibly within the next 24 to 48 hours – and enters PAR, it would be given the local name Paeng. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
The potential Paeng could reach a maximum strength equivalent to a severe tropical storm – with estimated maximum winds of 90 to 110 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of 115 to 185 km/h.
But PAGASA Weather Specialist Gener Quitlong said they are not ruling out the possibility that the LPA could eventually become a typhoon.
At the moment, its possible forecast track is extreme Northern Luzon, and it might make landfall in Batanes. But Quitlong noted that the forecast could still change, since the LPA is still far away. The public should continue monitoring updates.
So far, the Philippines has had 15 tropical cyclones in 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.
Meanwhile, the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) will continue to affect Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao on Friday, September 21.
The ITCZ is a belt near the equator where the trade winds of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere meet, usually causing low pressure areas or thunderstorms. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
In a bulletin issued 4 pm on Thursday, PAGASA warned there would be light to heavy rain in Mimaropa, the Visayas, and Mindanao due to the ITCZ. Residents of these areas should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides.
The rest of the country will only have localized thunderstorms on Friday, mostly in the afternoon or evening. But flash floods and landslides are also possible if the thunderstorms bring heavy rain.
Parts of Luzon are still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which left at least 88 people dead and caused destruction in provinces up north. (READ: Areas under state of calamity due to Typhoon Ompong)
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com