Philippine tropical cyclones

Tropical Depression Ulysses develops inside PAR, joining Tonyo

Acor Arceo
Tropical Depression Ulysses develops inside PAR, joining Tonyo

Image from PAGASA

(UPDATED) PAGASA's initial forecast for Tropical Depression Ulysses, issued Sunday evening, November 8, shows it could make landfall in Bicol on Wednesday, November 11

For the second time in 2020, there are two tropical cyclones simultaneously inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

The low pressure area east of Mindanao developed into a tropical depression at 8 pm on Sunday, November 8. It was given the local name Ulysses. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

Tropical Depression Ulysses joins Tropical Depression Tonyo inside PAR.

Exactly a week ago on November 1, Siony (Atsani), then a tropical storm, joined Rolly (Goni), then a typhoon, inside PAR. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)


In a bulletin released past 11 pm on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ulysses is now 800 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

The tropical depression is moving northwest at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h), a direction it is expected to maintain from Sunday evening until Tuesday morning, November 10.

Then, according to PAGASA, Ulysses may turn west and head toward Bicol, which is still reeling from the devastation brought by Rolly, a super typhoon when it hit the region on November 1.

At this time, added PAGASA, Ulysses is likely to make landfall in Bicol on Wednesday, November 11.

As of Sunday evening, Ulysses has maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.

But it could intensify over the next 3 days, warned PAGASA. Ulysses is likely to become a tropical storm within 24 to 36 hours, and then a severe tropical storm, and possibly even a typhoon on Wednesday before making landfall.

As of Sunday evening, Ulysses is “not directly causing severe weather” in any part of the Philippines, said PAGASA.

Winds and rainfall from the tropical cyclone may begin affecting parts of Eastern Visayas and Bicol on Tuesday or Wednesday.

This means PAGASA could raise Signal No. 1 in parts of those two regions as early as Monday evening, November 9, or Tuesday morning, “in anticipation of the onset of strong breeze to near gale conditions.” This is because tropical cyclone wind signals are issued in advance, to warn the public ahead of the actual arrival of winds.

PAGASA also said that in the next 24 hours, Ulysses and the easterlies combined will cause moderate to rough seas in the eastern seaboards of the country. Waves will be 1.5 to 2.5 meters high.

According to the state weather bureau, small vessels must take precautionary measures, while “inexperienced mariners” must avoid such waters.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Ulysses as of November 8, 2020, 11 pm.
Image from PAGASA

As for Tonyo, it slightly intensified and accelerated while moving over the West Philippine Sea on Sunday evening.

PAGASA said Tonyo is already 395 kilometers west of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

The tropical depression is moving west at 30 km/h, a bit faster than its previous speed of 25 km/h, and poised to leave PAR on Monday morning.

It earlier hit Masbate, Marinduque, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, and Occidental Mindoro.

Tonyo now has maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h from the previous 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h from the previous 55 km/h. It is likely to strengthen further into a tropical storm within 24 hours, said PAGASA.

Given its location, Tonyo is affecting the Kalayaan Islands in the West Philippine Sea as of Sunday evening.

PAGASA said “the outer region of the tropical depression’s circulation will bring occasional gusty conditions” to the Kalayaan Islands. Tonyo is also bringing moderate to heavy rain there overnight until Monday.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan enhanced by Tonyo will bring strong to gale-force winds to these areas:

  • Batanes
  • Babuyan Islands
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Apayao
  • northern part of mainland Cagayan

PAGASA also warned of rain from the tail-end of a cold front associated with the enhanced northeast monsoon.

Moderate to heavy rain

  • mainland Cagayan Valley
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Aurora

Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain

  • Ilocos Region
  • rest of Central Luzon
  • Batanes
  • Babuyan Islands

Travel is risky, especially for small vessels, in seaboards where rough to very rough seas will be experienced in the next 24 hours.

Due to Tonyo – waves 2.5 to 4.5 meters high

  • seaboards of Kalayaan Islands

Due to enhanced northeast monsoon – waves 2.5 to 5 meters high

  • seaboards of Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, and Zambales
  • northern seaboards of mainland Cagayan

There will also be moderate to rough waters in certain seaboards.

Due to Tonyo – waves 1.5 to 2.5 meters high

  • western seaboards of Bataan, Batangas, Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, and Palawan including Calamian Islands
Forecast track of Tropical Depression Tonyo as of November 8, 2020, 11 pm.
Image from PAGASA

Tonyo is the Philippines’ 20th tropical cyclone for 2020, while Ulysses is the 21st – already above the yearly average of 20.

For the next 6 months, these are PAGASA’s estimates for tropical cyclones inside PAR:

  • November 2020 – 1 to 3
  • December 2020 – 2 or 3
  • January 2021 – 0 or 1
  • February 2021 – 0 or 1
  • March 2021 – 0 or 1
  • April 2021 – 0 or 1

Since October, La Niña has been underway, which means there is more rain than usual.

Then in November, the northeast monsoon began, signaling “surges of cold temperatures.”

PAGASA warned that La Niña may enhance the northeast monsoon, which could trigger floods and landslides. –

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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.