Tropical Depression Ofel makes 2nd landfall in Sorsogon

Tropical Depression Ofel made its second landfall in Matnog, Sorsogon, at 6 am on Wednesday, October 14, then crossed the southern part of the province.

Its first landfall was in Can-avid, Eastern Samar, at 2:30 am on Wednesday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a bulletin released past 8 am that Ofel is already 30 kilometers southwest of Juban, Sorsogon, or 30 kilometers northeast of Masbate City, Masbate.

It slightly accelerated further, now moving west northwest at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 20 km/h.

PAGASA said the tropical depression will move over the inland seas of Southern Luzon next, and may pass close to or over Masbate, Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, and Occidental Mindoro. After that, it is likely to emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning, October 15.

Ofel maintained its strength, with maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. The state weather bureau said it is expected to stay a tropical depression while crossing Southern Luzon, but may intensify into a tropical storm over the West Philippine Sea.

Below is PAGASA's updated rainfall forecast as of 8 am, covering Wednesday until Thursday morning.

Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain
  • Bicol
  • Calabarzon
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • Metro Manila
  • Central Luzon
  • Northern Samar
  • Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Biliran

Note that most of Mindanao will also have light to moderate rain – at times heavy – but this is due to the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, and not Ofel.

Floods and landslides are possible in areas affected by the tropical depression and the southwest monsoon.

Meanwhile, 15 provinces and parts of 2 provinces are under Signal No. 1 as of 8 am, with PAGASA warning of "strong- to near gale-force winds" when Ofel passes through.

  • Batangas
  • southern part of Laguna (Luisiana, Majayjay, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Rizal, San Pablo City, Calauan, Alaminos, Los Baños, Bay, Magdalena)
  • southern part of Quezon (Guinayangan, Tagkawayan, Buenavista,San Narciso, San Andres, Mulanay, San Francisco, Catanauan, Lopez, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Atimonan, Tayabas City, Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban, Gumaca, General Luna, Macalelon, Pitogo, Unisan, Plaridel, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Pagbilao, Lucena City, Sariaya, Candelaria, Dolores, Tiaong, San Antonio)
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Catanduanes
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands
  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar
  • Biliran

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:

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

A gale warning remains in effect due to rough seas, with waves 2.8 to 4 meters high, caused by the northeasterly surface windflow in the seaboards of Batanes and Ilocos Norte, as well as the northern seaboard of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands. PAGASA said travel is risky, especially for small vessels.

Moderate to rough seas, with waves 2.1 to 3.7 meters high, will be caused by Ofel in the eastern seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas in the next 24 hours. PAGASA advised small vessels not to venture out to sea.

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

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Ofel as of October 14, 2020, 8 am.

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