Philippine tropical cyclones

After leaving trail of destruction, Rolly exits PAR as tropical storm

Acor Arceo

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After leaving trail of destruction, Rolly exits PAR as tropical storm

Image from PAGASA

Rolly (Goni), the world's strongest tropical cyclone so far in 2020, exits the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Tuesday evening, November 3

Rolly (Goni) is now outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), making its exit as a tropical storm at 8 pm on Tuesday, November 3.

Rolly, the world’s strongest tropical cyclone so far in 2020, first barreled through the region of Bicol as a super typhoon last Sunday, November 1. That same day, it hit the Calabarzon region as a typhoon, then rapidly weakened by the time it emerged over the West Philippine Sea in the evening.

It made landfall 4 times on Sunday, bringing torrential rain and violent winds that caused massive floods and destruction:

  1. Bato, Catanduanes – 4:50 am (super typhoon)
  2. Tiwi, Albay – 7:20 am (super typhoon)
  3. San Narciso, Quezon – 12 pm (typhoon)
  4. Lobo, Batangas – 5:30 pm (typhoon)

At least 19 people died in Bicol. Many parts of the region remained without electricity and running water on Tuesday. Most telecommunication lines had also yet to be restored. (WATCH: Super Typhoon Rolly’s wrath in Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate)

More than 1.6 million people were affected in Bicol, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Cagayan Valley, and Metro Manila, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. (READ: How Rolly still left a trail of destruction despite Batangas’ preparation)

An initial assessment from the Department of Agriculture also showed Rolly wiped out almost P2 billion in agricultural goods. The cost of damage is still expected to rise.

As of Tuesday evening, Rolly was already 615 kilometers west of Subic Bay, slowly moving west toward the southern part of Vietnam.

As Rolly left PAR, it had maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 90 km/h. When Rolly first hit land as a super typhoon, it had maximum sustained winds of 225 km/h and gustiness of up to 280 km/h. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

“There is an increasing likelihood that Rolly will weaken into a tropical depression prior to its landfall over southern Vietnam,” the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a bulletin released past 11 pm on Tuesday.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Rolly (Goni) as of November 3, 2020, 11 pm.
Image from PAGASA

Though Rolly is already outside PAR, PAGASA said the tropical storm, along with Tropical Storm Siony (Atsani) inside PAR and the enhanced northeasterlies, will cause rough to very rough seas, with waves 2.8 to 5 meters in the following:

  • seaboards of Northern Luzon
  • seaboards of Kalayaan Islands

Travel is risky, especially for those using small vessels.

There will also be moderate to rough seas, with waves 1.5 to 2.5 meters high, in these areas:

  • eastern and western seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon
  • eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao

PAGASA advised small vessels to take precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, Siony is located 665 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, moving east at a slow 10 km/h.

PAGASA said Siony is expected to “move slowly in an apparent looping manner or remain almost stationary in the next 24 hours.”

Then it would move toward the Luzon Strait and extreme Northern Luzon, bringing its center “over or very close” to Batanes and Babuyan Islands between Thursday evening, November 5, and Friday morning, November 6. Landfall is possible.

Siony now has maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 105 km/h, slightly intensifying over the Philippine Sea.

PAGASA said it may strengthen further into a severe tropical storm in the next 24 to 36 hours and reach its peak intensity of 100 to 110 km/h on Thursday before nearing or making landfall over extreme Northern Luzon.

But the state weather bureau is also not ruling out the possibility that Siony could reach typhoon status.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Siony (Atsani) as of November 3, 2020, 11 pm.
Image from PAGASA

Rolly was the Philippines’ 18th tropical cyclone for 2020, while Siony is the 19th.

An average of 20 tropical cyclones form within or enter PAR each year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

These are PAGASA’s latest estimates for the number of tropical cyclones inside PAR in the next 6 months:

  • 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

In early October, the state weather bureau warned Filipinos to expect more rain in the coming months due to the onset of La Niña–

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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.