Tropical Depression Ofel has now made landfall thrice in the Philippines, with the latest in Burias Island in the province of Masbate.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 2 pm bulletin on Wednesday, October 14, that these are Ofel's landfalls, so far:
As of early Wednesday afternoon, Ofel was located 105 kilometers west of Juban, Sorsogon, moving west while maintaining its slow pace of 10 kilometers per hour (km/h).
After Burias Island, it is heading for the Marinduque-Romblon area. It may also pass close to or over Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro on Wednesday, then emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning, October 15.
Ofel continues to have maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. It is likely to remain a tropical depression while crossing Southern Luzon, but may intensify into a tropical storm over the West Philippine Sea.
As of 2 pm, PAGASA maintained its rainfall forecast for areas affected by Ofel, covering the rest of Wednesday until Thursday morning. Heavy or prolonged rain, reminded the state weather bureau, could trigger floods and landslides.
PAGASA also maintained its rainfall forecast for Mindanao, which is affected not by Ofel but by the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.
The same areas are under Signal No. 1 as of 2 pm, carried over from the 11 am bulletin. "Strong- to near gale-force winds" are expected when Ofel passes through.
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). These areas would be affected:
The northeasterly surface windflow also prompted a gale warning for the seaboards of Batanes and Ilocos Norte, as well as the northern seaboard of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands. PAGASA warned that travel is risky due to rough seas, with waves 2.8 to 4 meters high.
Ofel, meanwhile, is causing moderate to rough seas in the eastern seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas. PAGASA advised small vessels not to venture out to sea, as waves could reach 2.1 to 3.7 meters high.
Ofel is forecast to exit PAR on Friday morning or afternoon, October 16. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
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: