Ambo weakens into low pressure area

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Ambo (Vongfong) weakened from a tropical depression into a low pressure area (LPA) on Sunday afternoon, May 17, while moving over the Bashi Channel.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA which used to be Ambo is now 125 kilometers northwest of Basco, Batanes.

With the development, Signal No. 1 has been lifted in Batanes. (READ: Why is it now called tropical cyclone 'wind' – and not 'warning' – signals?)

But PAGASA said light to moderate rain will still persist in Batanes until Sunday night. The rain may be heavy at times.

Seas off Batanes and Babuyan Islands will also be moderate to rough. PAGASA advised fishermen and those with small vessels not to set sail. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Ambo was a typhoon when it lashed parts of Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and Calabarzon, then gradually weakened as it crossed other areas in Luzon. It made landfall 6 times as a typhoon and once as a severe tropical storm, in these areas:

Thursday, May 14

  • San Policarpo, Eastern Samar - 12:15 pm
  • Dalupiri Island, Northern Samar - 10:15 pm
  • Capul Island, Northern Samar - 10:30 pm

Friday, May 15

  • Ticao Island, Masbate - 12 am
  • Burias Island, Masbate - 3 am
  • San Andres, Quezon - 7:45 am
  • Real, Quezon - 5 pm

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has yet to report casualties from Ambo.

Tens of thousands of people earlier fled their homes as authorities enforced preemptive evacuation. (READ: Social distancing 'per family' at Typhoon Ambo evacuation centers)

Forecast track of the low pressure area which used to be Ambo (Vongfong), as of May 17, 2020, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of the low pressure area which used to be Ambo (Vongfong), as of May 17, 2020, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Ambo was 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)

PAGASA Weather Specialist Loriedin de la Cruz said in an online briefing on Sunday that PAGASA is monitoring a new cloud cluster on the eastern side of the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

According to De La Cruz, this cloud cluster is unlikely to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next two days, but the public are advised to monitor updates.

In PAGASA's climate outlook, it gave the following estimates for the number of tropical cyclones in the next 6 months:

– Rappler.com