MANILA, Philippines – The tropical depression located outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) maintained its strength on Friday afternoon, November 16, a couple of days ahead of its expected entry.
In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the tropical depression is already 2,010 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It is still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The tropical depression is expected to enter PAR on Sunday, November 18. When it does, it will be given the local name Samuel. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
At the moment, the tropical depression continues to have maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 60 km/h. But it could strengthen into a tropical storm while still over water.
PAGASA earlier said that one to two tropical cyclones could enter or develop within PAR in November.
So far, the Philippines has had 18 tropical cyclones in 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Meanwhile, the low pressure area (LPA) that PAGASA was monitoring this week already left PAR before dawn on Friday.
But PAGASA said the trough or extension of the LPA will still bring scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms to Palawan until Saturday, November 17. Flash floods and landslides remain possible.
The northeast monsoon or hanging amihan will also trigger isolated light rains in the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley on Saturday. But PAGASA said there will be “no significant impact.”
The rest of the country will only have localized thunderstorms on Saturday. But flash floods and landslides are possible if the thunderstorms become severe.
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com