Typhoon Ramon slows down as it threatens Babuyan

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Ramon (Kalmaegi) slowed down early Tuesday morning, November 19, as it continued to threaten the Babuyan Group of Islands.

In a bulletin issued 8 am on Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ramon is now 110 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan.

The typhoon is slowly moving west northwest, even slower than its previous pace of 10 kilometers per hour (km/h).

It continues to have maximum winds of 120 km/h and gustiness of up to 150 km/h.

Since Ramon slowed down, its landfall has been pushed back yet again. It is now expected to hit the Babuyan Group of Islands between Tuesday afternoon and evening.

It is forecast to gradually weaken after hitting land, "due to the land interaction and the northeast monsoon," said PAGASA.

The following areas remain under tropical cyclone wind signals:

Signal No. 3 (winds of 121 km/h to 170 km/h)

Signal No. 2 (winds of 61 km/h to 120 km/h)

Signal No. 1 (winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h)

Rain from Ramon will persist throughout Tuesday and also on Wednesday, November 20. Residents must stay on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Tuesday, November 19

Wednesday, November 20

Classes were suspended in some areas for Tuesday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Tuesday, November 19, 2019)

Travel also remains risky, especially for small vessels, in the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, the seaboard of the southern part of Isabela, as well as the western seaboard of Zambales and Bataan.

Ramon could leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) early Thursday, November 21. By then, it would have likely weakened into a low pressure area (LPA).

Ramon is the Philippines' 18th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 2nd for November.

Forecast track of Typhoon Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 19, 2019, 8 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 19, 2019, 8 am.

Image from PAGASA

Meanwhile, the LPA inside PAR is now 810 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

It is likely to develop into a tropical depression within 24 hours. If it does, it would be given the local name Sarah – potentially the Philippines' 19th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 3rd for November. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones had been projected.

Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones for the last two months of 2019:

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com