Philippine tropical cyclones

Tropical Depression Obet maintains strength

Acor Arceo
Tropical Depression Obet maintains strength

OBET. Satellite image of Tropical Depression Obet as of October 20, 2022, 11 am.


Tropical Depression Obet still has maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h on Thursday morning, October 20. Meanwhile, the shear line and the ITCZ are causing rain in parts of the country.

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Obet maintained its strength on Thursday morning, October 20, as it continued to move over the Philippine Sea.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 11 am bulletin on Thursday that Obet still has maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.

The tropical depression was located 745 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, moving west at a slightly slower 10 km/h from the previous 15 km/h.

Obet is expected to move west southwest until Thursday evening or Friday morning, October 21, before turning west toward the Luzon Strait.

It is still seen to cross extreme Northern Luzon or the northern part of mainland Northern Luzon between Friday evening and Saturday morning, October 22. During this time, it may also intensify into a tropical storm.

“Further intensification is likely once Obet reaches the West Philippine Sea,” added the weather bureau.

Rain from Obet is expected early Friday morning to Saturday morning. Below is PAGASA’s latest rainfall forecast for that period.

Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain
  • Batanes
  • Babuyan Islands
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Apayao
  • northern part of mainland Cagayan
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • northern part of Ilocos Sur
  • Abra
  • Kalinga
  • rest of mainland Cagayan

Even before the rain from Obet, however, the shear line and the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) are already causing light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain, on Thursday.

Shear line

  • Cagayan Valley
  • Apayao
  • Ilocos Norte


  • Mimaropa
  • Visayas
  • Zamboanga Peninsula

Floods and landslides are possible in areas affected by the shear line and the ITCZ, as well as the areas to be affected by the tropical depression.

In terms of winds, these areas remain under Signal No. 1 as of 11 am on Thursday:

  • Batanes
  • Babuyan Islands
  • northeastern part of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga)

Strong winds are expected in areas under Signal No. 1.

The highest possible wind signal is Signal No. 2 since Obet is likely to become a tropical storm.

But strong to gale-force winds are already being experienced in the northernmost parts of Luzon due to the northeasterly surface windflow, particularly in these areas:

  • Batanes
  • Babuyan Islands
  • northern part of mainland Cagayan
  • northern part of Apayao
  • northern part of Ilocos Norte

Meanwhile, a gale warning has been in effect since 5 am on Thursday. Rough to very rough seas are expected in these seaboards:

  • northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon (Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, northern coast of Ilocos Norte) – waves 3.4 to 6 meters high
  • western seaboard of Northern Luzon (western coast of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan) – waves 3.4 to 5 meters high

PAGASA advised fishing boats and other small vessels not to sail, and larger vessels to watch out for big waves.

The surge of the northeasterly surface windflow and Obet may also trigger moderate to rough seas, which could be risky for small vessels, in the following seaboards:

  • seaboards of Central Luzon – waves 1.5 to 3.5 meters high
  • western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon – waves 1.2 to 3 meters high

Obet may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday.

It is the country’s 15th tropical cyclone for 2022 and the third for October.

PAGASA expects 5 to 9 tropical cyclones to enter or develop inside PAR from October 2022 to March 2023. Per month, these are the weather bureau’s estimates:

  • October 2022 – 2 to 4
  • November 2022 – 2 or 3
  • December 2022 – 1 or 2
  • January 2023 – 0 or 1
  • February 2023 – 0 or 1
  • March 2023 – 0 or 1


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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.