Ursula leaves PAR as tropical storm

Acor Arceo
Ursula leaves PAR as tropical storm
The deadly Ursula (Phanfone) exits the Philippine Area of Responsibility at 9:50 am on Saturday, December 28

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MANILA, Philippines – Ursula (Phanfone), which barreled through the Visayas and parts of Luzon as a deadly Christmas typhoon, left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) as a tropical storm at 9:50 am on Saturday, December 28.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ursula is already 595 kilometers west of Subic, Zambales, outside PAR.

It is moving west southwest at a slow 10 kilometers per hour (km/h).

At the time of its exit, Ursula had maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. It had weakened into a severe tropical storm on Friday afternoon, December 27, and then into a tropical storm before dawn on Saturday.

When Ursula made its first landfall in Eastern Samar last Tuesday, December 24, it had maximum winds of 120 km/h and gustiness of up to 150 km/h.

In total, Ursula made landfall in the country 7 times – thrice in Eastern Visayas, thrice in Western Visayas, and once in Mimaropa.

Tuesday, December 24

Wednesday, December 25

  • Gigantes Islands, Carles, Iloilo – 2:30 am
  • Ibajay, Aklan – 8:40 am
  • Semirara Island, Caluya, Antique – 1 pm
  • Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro – 3 pm

Ursula left at least 28 people dead across the Visayas. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help those affected by Typhoon Ursula)

In the wake of heavy flooding and serious damage caused by Ursula, assessment and clearing operations continue.

It had also disrupted sea and air travel during the holiday rush, as well as downed communication and power lines.

Ursula was the Philippines’ 21st tropical cyclone for 2019, exceeding the yearly average of 20. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

It is also seen to be the last tropical cyclone for the year, with no other brewing storm being monitored. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Ursula (Phanfone), formerly a typhoon, as of December 28, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Meanwhile, the tail-end of a cold front is bringing scattered light to moderate rain and isolated thunderstorms over the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and Aurora on Saturday.

PAGASA defines the tail-end of a cold front as an “extended zone of converging winds from east to northeast that often brings thunderstorms and rainshowers.”

Travel is also risky, especially for small vessels, in the seaboards of Northern Luzon due to the surge of the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan.

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.