Typhoon Wutip might enter PAR as tropical storm

Wutip is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday, February 28

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Satellite image of Typhoon Wutip outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility as of February 26, 2019, 7 pm. Image from NOAA

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Wutip is likely to weaken before its expected entry into the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday, February 28.

In a bulletin issued 4 pm on Tuesday, February 26, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the typhoon is already 1,970 kilometers east of Central Luzon, slowly moving north.

At the moment, Wutip has maximum winds of 185 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 225 km/h.

But the forecast track released by PAGASA on Tuesday shows Wutip possibly entering PAR as a tropical storm on Thursday, then eventually weakening into a tropical depression. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Forecast track of Typhoon Wutip as of February 26, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

When Wutip enters PAR, it will be given the local name Betty. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

PAGASA earlier said Wutip would likely just stay near the PAR boundary, without approaching or hitting land.

But the public should continue monitoring updates in case there are any changes to the forecast.

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So far, the Philippines has had one tropical cyclone in 2019 – Tropical Depression Amang.

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year, but PAGASA expects only 14 to 18 in 2019. The number is likely to be below average as the state weather bureau is already in the El Niño Advisory stage, the last stage before declaring El Niño. (READ: PAGASA warns of ‘full-blown’ El Niño in 2019)

Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones for the next 6 months:

  • March – 0 or 1
  • April – 0 or 1
  • May – 1 or 2
  • June – 1 or 2
  • July – 2 or 3
  • August – 2 or 3

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, February 27, the country will enjoy generally good weather.

There will only be isolated light rains in Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon, and Davao Oriental, due to the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan. But PAGASA said there will be “no significant impact.” – Rappler.com