Onyok intensifies into severe tropical storm
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MANILA, Philippines – Onyok (Mitag) intensified from a tropical storm into a severe tropical storm and slightly accelerated as it continued moving over the Philippine Sea before dawn on Sunday, September 29.
In a bulletin issued 5 am on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Onyok now has maximum winds of 95 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h from the previous 105 km/h.
Onyok might strengthen further into a typhoon within 24 hours. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
It is already 605 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, moving west at a slightly faster 30 km/h from the previous 25 km/h.
Onyok is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines. But Signal No. 1 remains raised in:
- Babuyan Group of Islands
Signal No. 1 means winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h are expected.
PAGASA added that Onyok's trough or extension will continue to trigger scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms, ranging from light to moderate. These regions are affected:
Sunday morning, September 29, to Monday morning, September 30
- Cagayan Valley
The rest of the country will only have isolated rainshowers or localized thunderstorms on Sunday.
Travel is also risky, especially for small vessels, in the northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon, including those under Signal No. 1.
Based on Onyok's latest forecast track, it could leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday, September 30.
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