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MANILA, Philippines – Betty (Mawar) weakened from a typhoon into a severe tropical storm as it continued to move away from the Philippines in the early hours of Thursday, June 1.
In a press briefing past 5 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Betty’s maximum sustained winds decreased from 120 kilometers per hour to 110 km/h.
The severe tropical storm’s gustiness went down from 150 km/h to 135 km/h.
Betty also slightly accelerated, moving north at 15 km/h from the previous 10 km/h. As of 4 am on Thursday, it was already 505 kilometers northeast of Itbayat, Batanes.
Batanes remains under Signal No. 1 as strong winds from the severe tropical storm continue to reach the province.
“Should there be no significant changes in the track or extent of tropical cyclone winds of Betty, the wind signal over Batanes will be lifted by noon or afternoon today. Nevertheless, minimal to minor impacts from strong winds…are still possible in Batanes,” PAGASA said.
Based on Betty’s latest forecast track, it could gradually speed up and leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday afternoon or evening.
Then the severe tropical storm may make landfall in or pass very close to Japan’s Okinawa Island on Thursday evening or early Friday morning, June 2, according to PAGASA.
Betty did not make landfall in the Philippines, but it has still affected Northern Luzon. It also continues to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat.
“As Betty continues to move away…the southwest monsoon will become the dominant rain-causing system in the country within the day,” PAGASA said.
According to PAGASA Weather Specialist Benison Estareja, the following areas will see rain from the enhanced southwest monsoon:
Thursday, June 1
- 100-200 millimeters (mm): Occidental Mindoro
- 50-100 mm: Ilocos Sur, La Union, Benguet, Abra, Oriental Mindoro, Antique, northern part of Palawan including Cuyo and Calamian islands
Friday, June 2
- 100-200 mm: Occidental Mindoro
- 50-100 mm: Zambales, Bataan, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Antique, northern part of Palawan including Cuyo and Calamian islands
Floods and landslides remain possible.
On Thursday, the southwest monsoon will also bring occasional to frequent gusts to the northern part of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Bicol, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Northern Samar, and the northern part of Samar.
Meanwhile, PAGASA issued another gale warning at 5 am on Thursday, due to the southwest monsoon:
- northern seaboard of Northern Luzon (Batanes, Babuyan Islands) – rough to very rough seas, with waves 3.1 to 5 meters high
- other northern seaboards of Luzon, eastern seaboard of Luzon, western seaboard of Southern Luzon – rough to very rough seas, with waves 2.8 to 4.5 meters high
The weather bureau advised small vessels not to sail and larger vessels to be on alert for big waves.
Betty entered PAR as a super typhoon early Saturday, May 27, and before its entry, had reached a peak intensity of 215 km/h. It is the country’s second tropical cyclone for 2023 and the first super typhoon of the year.
For June, PAGASA expects one or two tropical cyclones. – Rappler.com