Trami becomes severe tropical storm outside PAR
MANILA, Philippines – Trami strengthened from a tropical storm into a severe tropical storm ahead of its entry into the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
In a Facebook Live video at 5 am on Sunday, September 23, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Trami now has maximum winds of 100 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 120 km/h from the previous 105 km/h.
It could further intensify into a typhoon before its expected entry into PAR on Sunday afternoon. It will be given the local name Paeng once it is inside PAR. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
The severe tropical storm is already 1,580 kilometers east of Central Luzon, continuing to move west northwest at 20 km/h. It is still too far to have any effect on the Philippines.
The potential Paeng is also unlikely to make landfall, and it is not expected to significantly enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. But it might still affect extreme Northern Luzon, or Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands, on Friday, September 28.
PAGASA earlier noted that since the weather disturbance is still too far away, the forecast could still change. 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.
Parts of Luzon are still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which left at least 95 people dead and caused destruction in provinces up north. (READ: Areas under state of calamity due to Typhoon Ompong)
Meanwhile, the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) will continue to affect Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao on Sunday.
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)
PAGASA warned there would be light to heavy rain in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Palawan 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 Sunday, mostly in the afternoon or evening. But flash floods and landslides are also possible if the thunderstorms bring heavy rain.
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com