Sarah leaves PAR, weakens into low pressure area

Acor Arceo
Sarah (Fung-wong), the Philippines' 19th tropical cyclone for 2019, leaves the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday, November 23

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Satellite image as of November 23, 2019, 10:30 am. Image from NOAA

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Sarah (Fung-wong) left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 6 am on Saturday, November 23, then weakened into a low pressure area (LPA) at 8 am.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA which used to be Sarah is now 635 kilometers north northeast of Basco, Batanes.

At its peak, Sarah was classified as a severe tropical storm. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Sarah did not make landfall in the Philippines, but its trough or extension earlier brought some rain to parts of Northern Luzon.

Forecast track of the low pressure area which used to be Tropical Depression Sarah (Fung-wong), as of November 23, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Sarah was the Philippines’ 19th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 3rd for November. (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 had been projected.

When Sarah formed, the estimate was exceeded for the year and also for the month of November.

These had been the projections for the last two months of 2019:

  • November – 1 or 2
  • December – 0 or 1

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. –

Acor Arceo

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