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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Ambo maintained its strength on Monday evening, May 11, but it is expected to intensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 hours.
In an online briefing past 11 pm on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ambo is now 300 kilometers east northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
It continues to move slowly, heading northwest in the general direction of Bicol and Eastern Visayas.
Ambo continues to have maximum winds of 55 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. But on Tuesday, May 12, it is likely to become a tropical storm, classified as having maximum winds of 62 to 88 km/h. After that, it might also further strengthen into a severe tropical storm.
On Tuesday, Signal No. 1 could already be raised in parts of Eastern Visayas “in anticipation of potentially strong winds” due to Ambo, said PAGASA. This means local government units and residents would be given lead time of 36 hours to prepare. (READ: Why is it now called tropical cyclone ‘wind’ – and not ‘warning’ – signals?)
In the meantime, with Ambo still lingering off Mindanao, its trough or extension will continue to bring scattered light to moderate rain to the island region on Tuesday. The rain may also be heavy at times, which could cause floods and landslides.
Moderate to rough seas will also be experienced in the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas and Caraga. Fishermen and those with small sea vessels are advised not to sail.
PAGASA earlier said Ambo could make landfall in Bicol as early as Thursday, May 14. It would then cross parts of Luzon, possibly affecting Metro Manila as well. A detailed forecast is expected once Ambo is closer to land. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Ambo is the Philippines’ first tropical cyclone for 2020. The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2020)
In PAGASA’s climate outlook, it gave the following estimates for the number of tropical cyclones in the next 6 months:
- May – 1 or 2
- June – 1 or 2
- July – 2 to 4
- August – 2 or 3
- September – 2 or 3
- October – 2 or 3