Philippine tropical cyclones

Tropical Depression Obet slightly accelerates, set to bring heavy rain

Acor Arceo
Tropical Depression Obet slightly accelerates, set to bring heavy rain

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

NOAA

Tropical Depression Obet is 555 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, on Thursday evening, October 20

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Obet slightly accelerated on Thursday evening, October 20, while heading west southwest over the Philippine Sea.

In a briefing past 11 pm on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Obet was moving at 20 kilometers per hour, from 15 km/h in the afternoon.

The tropical depression was already 555 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes.

It is projected to cross the Babuyan Islands-Batanes area on Saturday morning, October 22, then leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday evening.

So far, Obet continues to have maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.

But Obet may intensify into a tropical storm on Friday evening, October 21, or early Saturday morning, and further strengthen once it reaches the West Philippine Sea.

Obet is already bringing rain to Northern Luzon on Friday. PAGASA warned that widespread and prolonged floods and landslides are expected, especially since Northern Luzon already saw significant rainfall from Typhoon Neneng (Nesat) less than a week ago.

Here is the weather bureau’s latest rainfall forecast for the tropical depression, as well as the shear line also affecting Northern Luzon:

Until Friday noon, October 21

Moderate to heavy rain
  • Cagayan including Babuyan Islands
  • Batanes
  • Apayao
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • Ilocos Norte

Friday noon, October 21, to early Saturday morning, October 22

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

PAGASA also said in a separate advisory that the effect of the intertropical convergence zone has weakened, but it may still cause scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in these regions on Friday:

  • Mimaropa
  • Bicol
  • Western Visayas

As of 11 pm on Thursday, the same areas remain under Signal No. 1 due to Obet:

  • 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 were already hitting 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

The start of the northeast monsoon or amihan season has since been declared.

Due to the northeast monsoon, a gale warning has been in effect since 5 pm 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 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

– Rappler.com

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author

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.