MANILA, Philippines – With Super Typhoon Betty (Mawar) moving faster, the Philippines’ weather bureau already raised Signal No. 1 in parts of Northern Luzon on Saturday morning, May 27, to give the affected areas 36 hours to prepare for strong winds.
Betty was last spotted 1,170 kilometers east of Central Luzon as of 10 am on Saturday, moving west northwest at 30 kilometers per hour from the previous 25 km/h.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) also said in a press briefing past 11 am on Saturday that the super typhoon maintained its strength, with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h and gustiness of up to 240 km/h.
Landfall remains less likely for Betty, but due to its size, it is expected to affect Northern Luzon.
Signal No. 1 has been raised in the following areas as of 11 am on Saturday:
- eastern part of Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Lal-lo, Gattaran, Baggao, Peñablanca, Santa Teresita, Buguey) including Babuyan and Camiguin islands
- eastern part of Isabela (Maconacon, Divilacan, Dinapigue, Palanan, San Mariano, Ilagan City, Tumauini, San Pablo, Cabagan)
Those areas have lead time of 36 hours to prepare for strong winds from Betty.
PAGASA added that the southwest monsoon or habagat to be enhanced by the super typhoon may bring “strong breeze to near-gale conditions with intermittent gusts” starting Sunday evening, May 28, or early Monday, May 29, to the Visayas, the eastern parts of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, and the northern and eastern parts of Mindanao.
The weather bureau maintained its rainfall forecast for Betty, with rain from the super typhoon still expected to begin on Monday.
Monday morning, May 29, to Tuesday morning, May 30
- 50-100 millimeters (mm): Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and northern parts of mainland Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Apayao
Tuesday morning, May 30, to Wednesday morning, May 31
- Greater than 200 mm: Batanes
- 100-200 mm: Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union
- 50-100 mm: Cordillera Administrative Region, northern part of mainland Cagayan
“Forecast rainfall are generally higher in elevated or mountainous areas,” the weather bureau said.
The enhanced southwest monsoon, meanwhile, is seen to trigger monsoon rain in the western parts of Mimaropa, the Visayas, and Mindanao on Sunday.
On Monday and Tuesday, May 30, monsoon rain is likely in the western parts of Mimaropa and Western Visayas, and possible in the remaining areas of these two regions.
PAGASA stressed that floods and landslides could occur.
The weather bureau also advised small vessels to take precautionary measures or avoid sailing, if possible, in these seaboards:
- eastern seaboards of Luzon and Visayas – moderate to rough seas (waves 1.5 to 3.5 meters high), which may become rough to very rough (waves 2.5 to 5 meters high) on Saturday
- northern seaboard of Luzon – moderate to rough seas (waves 1.5 to 3 meters high) from Saturday morning to afternoon and rough seas (waves 2.5 to 4 meters high) beginning Saturday evening
Betty is projected to maintain its west northwest direction over the weekend, before turning northwest and slowing down on Monday while over the waters east of extreme Northern Luzon.
It could then become almost stationary between late Tuesday and early Wednesday, May 31, when it will be closest to Batanes or within 250 to 300 kilometers, said PAGASA.
In terms of intensity, Betty may remain a super typhoon during the weekend.
“Although it will likely maintain its strength for the next 36 to 48 hours, short-term intensification is not ruled out especially in the next 12 to 24 hours,” said the weather bureau.
On Monday or Tuesday, however, Betty “may begin weakening considerably” as it lingers over the waters east of Batanes. It is projected to be downgraded to a typhoon then.
Betty entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility at 2 am on Saturday. It is the country’s second tropical cyclone for 2023 and the first super typhoon of the year. – Rappler.com
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