Onyok intensifies into tropical storm
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MANILA, Philippines – Onyok strengthened from a tropical depression into a tropical storm and slightly accelerated on Saturday morning, September 28. It has been given the international name Mitag.
In a bulletin issued 11 am on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tropical Storm Onyok (Mitag) now has maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h from the previous 70 km/h.
PAGASA said Onyok could strengthen further into a severe tropical storm within 24 hours.
Onyok is already 870 kilometers east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, or 1,105 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora.
It is now moving west northwest at 35 km/h from the previous 30 km/h. This speed is relatively fast for a tropical cyclone.
PAGASA maintained that Onyok is less likely to make landfall in the Philippines. There are no areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, too.
But Onyok's trough or extension is expected to trigger scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in these areas:
Saturday, September 28, until Sunday morning, September 29
- Eastern Visayas
The rain will range from light to moderate, according to PAGASA. Residents, especially those in flood- or landslide-prone areas, must continue monitoring updates. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
The rest of the country will only have isolated rainshowers or localized thunderstorms on Saturday.
Based on Onyok's latest forecast track, it could leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday, September 30, or on Tuesday, October 1.
Onyok is the Philippines' 15th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 5th in September. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)
The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones are expected.
At most 4 tropical cyclones had been previously forecast for September. Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones from September to December:
- September - 2 to 4
- October - 2 or 3
- November - 1 or 2
- December - 0 or 1
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com