Tropical Depression Ofel crosses waters between Marinduque, Romblon

Tropical Depression Ofel was between the provinces of Marinduque and Romblon early Wednesday evening, October 14, with heavy rain continuing in parts of Luzon.

In a bulletin issued 8 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ofel is located 35 kilometers north of Romblon, Romblon.

The tropical depression is moving west at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h), heading for the province of Oriental Mindoro, where it is expected to make its 4th landfall either on Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning, October 15.

Ofel's first 3 landfalls were in these areas:

After its expected 4th landfall, it is forecast to emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning.

At the moment, Ofel still has maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. But PAGASA said it could intensify into a tropical storm over the West Philippine Sea.

Ofel, along with the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, will trigger more rain on Wednesday evening until Thursday afternoon.

Caused by Ofel

Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain
  • Calabarzon
  • Camarines Norte
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro

Caused by Ofel and the southwest monsoon

Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • Central Luzon
  • Metro Manila
  • Palawan
  • Cagayan
  • Isabela
  • rest of Bicol
  • Visayas
  • Mindanao

There are fewer areas under Signal No. 1 as of 8 pm. "Strong- to near gale-force winds" are expected when Ofel passes through.

  • Batangas
  • southern part of Laguna (Luisiana, Majayjay, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Rizal, San Pablo City, Calauan, Alaminos, Los Baños, Bay, Magdalena)
  • central and southern parts 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)
  • Calamian Islands
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Albay
  • Burias Island

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

The state weather bureau maintained its gale warning for the seaboards of Batanes and Ilocos Norte, as well as the northern seaboard of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, due to the northeasterly surface windflow. Travel remains risky due to rough seas, with waves 2.8 to 4 meters high.

Ofel also continues to cause 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)

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