Tropical Depression Ofel over West Philippine Sea, moving away

Tropical Depression Ofel is already over the West Philippine Sea as of Thursday morning, October 15, moving away from the Philippines after making landfall 5 times.

Ofel made landfall in these areas on Wednesday, October 14:

In an online briefing past 11 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ofel is now 275 kilometers west of Tanauan City, Batangas.

The tropical depression is moving west at the same speed of 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).

So far, it still has maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h – maintaining its strength before, during, and after landfall – but PAGASA said it could weaken into a low pressure area (LPA) within 12 to 24 hours.

Though Ofel is moving away from the country, there is still some rain from the tropical depression in parts of Luzon. The southwest monsoon or hanging habagat is affecting some areas in Luzon and the Visayas, too.

Caused by Ofel

Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • mainland Cagayan Valley
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Central Luzon

Caused by southwest monsoon

Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • Palawan including Calamian, Cuyo, and Kalayaan Islands
  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar

There could still be floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Meanwhile, Signal No. 1 was already completely lifted earlier at 8 am. But PAGASA said occasional gusts may still be experienced due to Ofel and the southwest monsoon in the following provinces:

  • Zambales
  • Bataan
  • Cavite
  • Batangas
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Palawan including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands

The state weather bureau added that gusty conditions due to the northeasterly surface windflow may also be seen in these areas:

  • Batanes
  • Babuyan Islands
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Aurora
  • coastal and mountainous areas of Ilocos Norte and mainland Cagayan Valley

A gale warning remains in place for the entire seaboard of Northern Luzon and the seaboard of Aurora due to the northeasterly surface windflow. PAGASA said seas are rough to very rough, with waves 2.5 to 4.5 meters high, making travel risky.

For the seaboards of Zambales, Bataan, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan – including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands – waters are moderate to rough. PAGASA advised small vessels not to venture out to sea, as waves are 2.1 to 3.5 meters high.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Ofel as of October 15, 2020, 11 am.

Image from PAGASA

PAGASA Weather Specialist Benison Estareja also said the state weather bureau is monitoring a cloud cluster east of Mindanao, which might become an LPA.

But Estareja said they do not see it developing into a tropical depression in the coming days, for now.

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