tropical cyclones in PH

Severe Tropical Storm Odette nears typhoon category

Acor Arceo
Severe Tropical Storm Odette nears typhoon category

ODETTE. Satellite image of Severe Tropical Storm Odette (Rai) as of December 15, 2021, 6 am.


Severe Tropical Storm Odette (Rai) slightly strengthens early Wednesday, December 15, with its maximum sustained winds increasing to 110 km/h

MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Odette (Rai) slightly intensified before dawn on Wednesday, December 15, already nearing typhoon category as expected.

Odette now has maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour from the previous 100 km/h, while its gustiness increased to 135 km/h from 125 km/h, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

It will be upgraded into a typhoon once its maximum sustained winds reach at least 118 km/h, likely on Wednesday.

PAGASA still expects Odette to reach a peak intensity of 155 km/h before making landfall in Caraga or Eastern Visayas on Thursday afternoon or evening, December 16.

Odette was located 735 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, early Wednesday, moving west northwest at a faster 25 km/h from the previous 15 km/h.

Though the severe tropical storm is still hundreds of kilometers away from land, its trough or extension and outermost rainbands are already bringing rain on Wednesday.

Here is PAGASA’s updated rainfall forecast as of 5 am:

Wednesday, December 15, until early Thursday morning, December 16

  • Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands

Early Thursday morning, December 16, until early Friday morning, December 17

  • Heavy to intense rain, with at times torrential rain – Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, northern part of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, northern part of Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Cebu
  • Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain – Leyte, southern part of Eastern Samar, Siquijor, rest of Caraga
  • Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Bicol, Zamboanga del Norte, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, rest of Visayas, rest of Northern Mindanao

Early Friday morning, December 17, until early Saturday morning, December 18

  • Heavy to intense rain, with at times torrential rain – Western Visayas, northern and central parts of Palawan including Cuyo and Cagayancillo Islands
  • Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain – Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Negros Oriental
  • Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Bicol, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Zamboanga del Norte, Quezon, Aurora, eastern part of Cagayan, eastern part of Isabela, rest of Visayas

The weather bureau warned that scattered to widespread floods and landslides are expected.

As of 5 am on Wednesday, more areas were placed under Signal No. 1 as well.

  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar
  • Biliran
  • Leyte
  • Southern Leyte
  • Bohol
  • northern and central parts of Cebu (Daanbantayan, Medellin, Bogo City, San Remigio, Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, Danao City, Compostela, Liloan, Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, Carcar City, Pinamungahan, San Fernando, Toledo City, Naga City, Balamban, Minglanilla, Cebu City, Talisay City, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova) including Bantayan and Camotes Islands
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Surigao del Sur
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Camiguin
  • eastern part of Misamis Oriental (Magsaysay, Gingoog City, Medina, Talisayan, Balingoan, Kinoguitan, Sugbongcogon, Salay, Jasaan, Balingasag, Lagonglong, Binuangan, Claveria, Villanueva, Tagoloan)

Areas under Signal No. 1 will experience strong winds from Odette.

PAGASA said it could raise Signal No. 2 for some areas starting Wednesday morning or afternoon, while the highest possible tropical cyclone wind signal due to Odette would be Signal No. 3.

PROJECTED PATH. Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Odette (Rai) as of December 15, 2021, 5 am.

The weather bureau also warned that moderate to high seas, with waves 1.2 to 7 meters high, will be experienced in seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1 on Wednesday.

“These conditions are risky for all types of sea vessels. Mariners are advised to remain in port or take shelter in port until winds and waves subside,” PAGASA said.

Aside from those under Signal No. 1, Odette and the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan also prompted a gale warning for these seaboards with rough to very rough seas:

  • seaboards of Northern Luzon
  • eastern seaboard of Central Luzon
  • eastern and western seaboards of Southern Luzon
  • western seaboard of Visayas
  • eastern seaboard of Mindanao

PAGASA added that moderate to rough seas will make travel risky for small vessels here:

  • remaining seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, and Visayas
  • western and northern seaboards of Mindanao

After Odette’s initial landfall in Caraga or Eastern Visayas, it is seen to cross several provinces in Central Visayas and Western Visayas before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday morning or afternoon, December 17.

Then it could pass near to or over the Cuyo archipelago and cross the northern part of Palawan on Friday evening before finally exiting landmass toward the West Philippine Sea.

PAGASA said Odette may slightly weaken as it crosses the Visayas and Palawan, but it will remain a typhoon. It is also likely to reintensify over the West Philippine Sea.

Odette is the Philippines’ 15th tropical cyclone for 2021. Around 20 form within or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility each year.

Here are PAGASA’s estimates for tropical cyclones in the coming months:

  • December 2021 – 1 or 2
  • January 2022 – 0 or 1
  • February 2022 – 0 or 1
  • March 2022 – 0 or 1
  • April 2022 – 0 or 1
  • May 2022 – 1 or 2


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.