PAGASA forecasts

Rai becomes severe tropical storm ahead of looming entry into PAR

Acor Arceo
Rai becomes severe tropical storm ahead of looming entry into PAR

RAI. Satellite image of Severe Tropical Storm Rai outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility, as of December 14, 2021, 12 pm.

PAGASA

The trough or extension of Severe Tropical Storm Rai, to be locally named Odette, will first bring rain to Caraga and Davao Oriental

MANILA, Philippines – Rai intensified from a tropical storm into a severe tropical storm outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday morning, December 14.

In a briefing past 11 am on Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Rai now has maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 115 km/h.

The severe tropical storm was last spotted 1,165 kilometers east of Mindanao, moving west northwest at a relatively fast 30 km/h.

PAGASA said Rai will maintain its west northwest direction while gradually strengthening.

At the rate it is going, the severe tropical storm is expected to enter PAR on Tuesday afternoon or evening. Rai will be given the local name Odette once inside PAR.

On Wednesday, December 15, Rai or Odette is likely to intensify into a typhoon. It will also shift westward over the Philippine Sea on Wednesday afternoon.

By Thursday morning or afternoon, December 16, the tropical cyclone could reach a peak intensity of around 155 km/h.

It is still expected to make landfall in either Caraga or Eastern Visayas by Thursday afternoon or evening.

PAGASA could raise Signal No. 1 for eastern parts of the Visayas and Mindanao as early as Tuesday afternoon or evening. More areas in the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as several provinces in Southern Luzon, are likely to be placed under tropical cyclone wind signals later on. The highest possible wind signal would be Signal No. 3.

The weather bureau also warned that even before the tropical cyclone’s landfall, its trough or extension will already bring light to heavy rain to Caraga and Davao Oriental in the next 24 hours or starting Tuesday.

When Odette makes landfall and crosses the central part of the Philippines, heavy to torrential rain could hit the Visayas, Mindanao, and Southern Luzon. These areas must prepare for possible floods and landslides.

PAGASA added that there may be “coastal inundation due to high waves near the coast” and storm surges in low-lying localities.

In addition, the shear line may bring heavy rain to the northern and eastern parts of Northern Luzon and the eastern part of Central Luzon during and after the passage of the tropical cyclone.

PROJECTED PATH. Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Rai as of December 14, 2021, 11 am.

Rai or Odette will affect sea travel in the coming days too.

Rough to high seas are expected in the seaboards of Southern Luzon and the Visayas, as well as the northern, eastern, and western seaboards of Mindanao.

The seaboards of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon might also have rough to high seas.

The remaining seaboards of Mindanao, meanwhile, could have moderate to rough seas.

Rai or Odette would be the Philippines’ 15th tropical cyclone for 2021. The yearly average is 20. – Rappler.com

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.