Falcon might become tropical storm en route to Batanes area

Acor Arceo
Falcon might become tropical storm en route to Batanes area
Tropical Depression Falcon has maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h as of late Tuesday morning, July 16

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Falcon may intensify into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours as it remains over the Philippine Sea where it can gain strength, said the state weather bureau late Tuesday morning, July 16.

In a briefing past 11 am on Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Falcon is 510 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, still moving west at a relatively fast 30 kilometers per hour (km/h).

So far, Falcon has maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h from the previous 65 km/h. It could become a tropical storm, or a tropical cyclone with maximum winds of 62 to 88 km/h. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Signal No. 1 remains raised in:

  • Cagayan including Babuyan Group of Islands
  • Batanes
  • northern part of Isabela (1st and 6th Districts)

PAGASA warned that Falcon could closely approach or make landfall over the Batanes-Babuyan area on Wednesday evening, July 17.

The tropical depression is also enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, which is triggering rain as well.

Here’s what to expect in terms of rainfall:

Tuesday, July 16, until Wednesday morning, July 17

  • Moderate to heavy rain
    • Ilocos Region
    • Cordillera Administrative Region
    • Cagayan
    • Occidental Mindoro
    • Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo islands
    • Panay Island
    • Guimaras
  • Light to heavy rain
    • rest of Luzon
    • rest of the Visayas

Wednesday morning, July 17, until Thursday morning, July 18

  • Moderate to heavy rain
    • Ilocos Region
    • Cordillera Administrative Region
    • Cagayan
    • Isabela
    • Zambales
    • Occidental Mindoro
  • Light to heavy rain
    • Metro Manila
    • Calabarzon
    • rest of Cagayan Valley
    • rest of Central Luzon
    • rest of Mimaropa

Flash floods and landslides are possible in areas affected by Falcon and the enhanced southwest monsoon.

Classes were suspended in some areas on Tuesday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Tuesday, July 16)

PAGASA also advised fishermen and those with small seacraft not to venture out into the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1 and the eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

Falcon is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday, July 19.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Falcon as of July 16, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Falcon is the Philippines’ 6th tropical cyclone for 2019. The first 5 were all tropical depressions as well. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

The Philippines gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones are expected.

Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones from July to December:

  • July – 2 or 3
  • August – 2 to 4
  • 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

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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.