Tropical Depression Ofel seen to hit land on October 14

Tropical Depression Ofel is forecast to make landfall over the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area within the next 12 hours, warned the state weather bureau at 11 pm on Tuesday, October 13.

In a bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ofel is now 90 kilometers northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, or 105 kilometers east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar.

The tropical depression is moving north northwest at 10 kilometers per hour (km/h), still slow.

After it hits either Eastern Samar or Northern Samar and crosses Samar Island, PAGASA now sees Ofel tracking "more west-northwestward over the inland seas of Southern Luzon," passing close to or over Masbate, Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, and Occidental Mindoro on Wednesday, October 14. It could then emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning, October 15.

Ofel maintained its strength late Tuesday evening, with maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. PAGASA said it is likely to remain a tropical depression in the next 36 hours, then strengthen into a tropical storm by Thursday morning after crossing the Mindoro provinces.

As of 11 pm on Tuesday, below is PAGASA's latest rainfall forecast, covering Wednesday. Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and much of Mimaropa are now included.

Moderate to heavy rain
  • Bicol
  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar
  • southern part of Quezon
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • rest of Eastern Visayas
  • rest of Calabarzon
  • Metro Manila
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro

PAGASA reminded the public that there could be floods and landslides.

Signal No. 1 was also raised in more areas, with the state weather bureau warning of "strong- to near gale-force winds" when Ofel passes through.

  • southern part of Quezon (San Francisco, San Andres, San Narciso, Mulanay, Catanauan, Buenavista, Guinayangan, Tagkawayan, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Atimonan, Unisan, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Plaridel, Gumaca, Lopez, General Luna, Macalelon, Pitogo)
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Catanduanes
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands
  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar
  • Biliran
  • northern part of Leyte (Tabango, Leyte, San Isidro, Calubian, Capoocan, Carigara, Jaro, Pastrana, Dagami, Tabontabon, Tanauan, Palo, Santa Fe, Alangalang, Tacloban City, Babatngon, San Miguel, Barugo, Tunga)

PAGASA added that there may be occasional gusts due to the northeasterly surface windflow being enhanced by Ofel and Tropical Storm Nangka – formerly Nika when it was inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), but is now over Hainan, China. These areas would be affected:

  • Batanes
  • northern and eastern parts of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands
  • northern parts of Apayao, Ilocos Norte, and Quezon
  • eastern part of Isabela
  • Aurora

PAGASA also advised small vessels not to venture out into the seaboards of Luzon and Eastern Visayas, especially in areas under Signal No. 1. Seas are moderate to rough, with waves reaching 1.2 to 3.7 meters high.

Ofel is forecast to exit PAR on Friday afternoon, October 16. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Ofel as of October 13, 2020, 11 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Ofel is the Philippines' 15th tropical cyclone for 2020, and the 2nd for October.

An average of 20 tropical cyclones form within or enter PAR each year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

PAGASA gave the following estimates for the number of tropical cyclones inside PAR in the next 6 months:

  • October 2020 - 2 or 3
  • November 2020 - 1 or 2
  • December 2020 - 1 or 2
  • January 2021 - 1 or 2
  • February 2021 - 0 or 1
  • March 2021 - 0 or 1

Last October 2, the state weather bureau warned Filipinos to expect more rain in the coming months due to the onset of La Niña– Rappler.com