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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Goring (Saola) continued to strengthen on Friday morning, August 25, with its outer rainbands already beginning to affect a few areas in Northern Luzon.
In a press briefing past 11 am on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Goring now has maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour from the previous 75 km/h.
The tropical storm’s gustiness is now up to 105 km/h from 90 km/h.
Goring is still projected to rapidly intensify, possibly strengthening into a severe tropical storm on Friday and into a typhoon on Saturday, August 26.
It may reach its peak intensity as a typhoon on Sunday evening, August 27, and maintain that strength. But PAGASA is not ruling out the possibility of Goring becoming a super typhoon.
Goring was last spotted 225 kilometers east southeast of Basco, Batanes, or 270 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan, slowly moving south southwest on Friday morning. It is generally a slow-moving tropical cyclone.
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PAGASA Weather Specialist Anna Clauren-Jorda said Goring’s outer rainbands are already affecting the eastern portion of Northern Luzon, bringing moderate to heavy rain on Friday.
Here is the weather bureau’s latest rainfall forecast for the tropical storm:
Friday noon, August 25, to Saturday noon, August 26
- 50-100 millimeters (mm): Batanes, Babuyan Islands, northeastern part of mainland Cagayan
Saturday noon, August 26, to Sunday noon, August 27
- 100-200 mm: eastern part of mainland Cagayan, eastern part of Isabela, northern part of Aurora
- 50-100 mm: Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, rest of mainland Cagayan, rest of Isabela
Sunday noon, August 27, to Monday noon, August 28
- 50-100 mm: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, northern part of Aurora, eastern part of Cagayan, eastern part of Isabela
PAGASA advised affected areas to be on alert for possible floods and landslides.
There are also more areas under Signal No. 1 as of 11 am on Friday, which means they should prepare for strong winds from Goring:
- eastern part of Babuyan Islands (Babuyan Island, Camiguin Island)
- eastern part of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Lal-lo, Gattaran, Baggao, Peñablanca, Santa Teresita, Buguey, Camalaniugan, Aparri)
- eastern part of Isabela (Maconacon, Divilacan, Palanan, Dinapigue, San Mariano, San Pablo, Cabagan, Tumauini, Ilagan City)
Meanwhile, a gale warning was issued at 5 am for the coastal waters of Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northern coast of mainland Cagayan due to the tropical storm. Travel is risky for certain vessels and suspension of trips is expected.
PAGASA expects Goring to keep heading south southwest or south off Northern Luzon until Saturday evening, then south or south southeast until Sunday afternoon.
Then it could “loop northward before turning to the northwest” on Tuesday, August 29, toward the Luzon Strait. A high pressure area has been influencing Goring’s movement.
Goring will also enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat, which may bring “significant” rain during the weekend.
PAGASA maintained its rainfall forecast for the enhanced southwest monsoon.
Saturday, August 26
- 50-100 mm: Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro
Sunday, August 27
- 50-100 mm: Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, northern part of Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo islands, Antique
But the southwest monsoon – not yet enhanced by Goring – is already bringing scattered rain showers and thunderstorms to Palawan, Occidental Mindoro, Zambales, and Bataan on Friday. Other areas in Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao have isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.
The enhanced southwest monsoon will also trigger gusty conditions in these areas during the weekend:
Saturday, August 26
- Aurora, Bataan, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, most of Mimaropa, Bicol, most of Visayas, Dinagat Islands
Sunday, August 27
- Aurora, Bataan, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Visayas, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte
Goring is the Philippines’ seventh tropical cyclone for 2023 and the first for August.
PAGASA previously said it expects two or three tropical cyclones to develop within or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) in August.
The cloud cluster outside PAR that the weather bureau has been monitoring already became a low pressure area on Friday morning. It was located 1,935 kilometers east of Eastern Visayas, and has no effect on the country yet.
Earlier, the tropical depression far outside PAR also intensified into a tropical storm, with the international name Damrey. It has maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.
Damrey was last spotted 3,065 kilometers east of Northern Luzon early Friday, moving east northeast or away from PAR at 35 km/h. – Rappler.com