Philippine tropical cyclones

Metro Manila may be directly in path of Typhoon Rolly

Acor Arceo
Metro Manila may be directly in path of Typhoon Rolly

Image from NOAA

PAGASA says the eyewall of Typhoon Rolly (Goni) could pass through Metro Manila on Sunday, November 1, possibly bringing its most destructive winds

Metro Manila, the Philippines’ capital region, could be directly in the path of Typhoon Rolly (Goni), the world’s strongest tropical cyclone for 2020 so far.

In a press briefing past 6 pm on Saturday, October 31, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Rolly is now 345 kilometers east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes.

The typhoon accelerated and is now moving west southwest at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 15 km/h.

Rolly maintained its strength, with maximum sustained winds of 215 km/h and gustiness of up to 265 km/h. It is not a super typhoon under PAGASA’s classification, as super typhoons have maximum sustained winds exceeding 220 km/h.

PAGASA said Rolly is likely to remain a typhoon, with maximum sustained winds of 185 to 205 km/h, by the time it makes landfall. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Below is the latest list of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals as of 5 pm on Saturday. Metro Manila is among the areas upgraded to Signal No. 2.

Signal No. 3
  • Catanduanes
  • eastern part of Camarines Sur (Cabusao, Libmanan, Pasacao, Pamplona, Magarao, Bombon, Calabanga, Canaman, Camaligan, Gainza, Naga City, Milaor, San Fernando, Minalabac, Pili, Ocampo, Baao, Bula, Balatan, Nabua, Bato, Iriga City, Buhi, Sagñay, Tigaon, Goa, Tinambac, Siruma, Lagonoy, San Jose, Garchitorena, Presentacion, Caramoan)
  • Albay
Signal No. 2
  • Bulacan
  • Rizal
  • Metro Manila
  • Laguna
  • Cavite
  • Batangas
  • Quezon including Polillo Island
  • Camarines Norte
  • rest of Camarines Sur
  • Sorsogon
  • Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
  • Northern Samar
  • northern part of Samar (Hinabangan, Paranas, Motiong, Jiabong, Catbalogan City, San Jose de Buan, San Jorge, Tarangnan, Gandara, Santa Margarita, Matuguinao, Calbayog City, Tagapul-an, Almagro, Santo Niño, Pagsanghan)
  • northern part of Eastern Samar (San Julian, Sulat, Taft, Can-avid, Dolores, Maslog, Oras, San Policarpo, Arteche, Jipapad)
Signal No. 1
  • Pampanga
  • Bataan
  • Zambales
  • Tarlac
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Aurora
  • Pangasinan
  • La Union
  • southern part of Ilocos Sur (Quirino, Gregorio del Pilar, Salcedo, San Emilio, Candon City, Galimuyod, Santa Lucia, Cervantes, Sigay, Santa Cruz, Suyo, Tagudin, Alilem, Sugpon)
  • Mountain Province
  • Benguet
  • Ifugao
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • central and southern parts of Isabela (Mallig, Quirino, Ilagan, Roxas, San Manuel, Burgos, Gamu, Palanan, San Mariano, Benito Soliven, Naguilian, Reina Mercedes, Luna, Aurora, Cabatuan, San Mateo, Cauayan City, Dinapigue, San Guillermo, Echague, San Agustin, Jones, Angadanan, Alicia, San Isidro, Ramon, Santiago City, Cordon)
  • Calamian Islands
  • rest of Eastern Samar
  • rest of Samar
  • northern part of Leyte (Leyte, Tabango, San Isidro, Calubian, Capoocan, Carigara, Tunga, Barugo, San Miguel, Babatngon, Tacloban City)
  • northwestern part of Aklan (Numancia, Lezo, Makato, Tangalan, Ibajay, Nabas, Malay, Buruanga, Kalibo)
  • northwestern part of Antique (Libertad, Pandan)

PAGASA warned that destructive typhoon-force winds will be experienced in areas under Signal No. 3, damaging gale- to storm-force winds in areas under Signal No. 2, and strong breeze to near gale conditions in areas under Signal No. 1.

Signal No. 4 remains the highest possible tropical cyclone wind signal that may be raised, for very destructive typhoon-force winds.

PAGASA added that strong breeze to near gale conditions due to the northeasterlies will persist in Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Apayao, and the coastal and mountainous areas of Cagayan and Isabela that are not under a tropical cyclone wind signal.

PAGASA updated its rainfall outlook for Rolly, detailed below. The typhoon’s outer rainbands are already bringing rain on Saturday, in these two regions:

Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • Bicol
  • Eastern Visayas

Beginning early Sunday morning, November 1, the passage of the typhoon will cause intense rain, which may trigger floods and landslides.

Heavy to intense rain
  • Metro Manila
  • Bicol
  • Calabarzon
  • Aurora
  • Bulacan
  • Zambales
  • Bataan
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain
  • rest of Central Luzon
  • Cagayan Valley
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Ilocos Region
Rolly’s track

PAGASA said the center of the eye of the typhoon is forecast to pass over the Catanduanes-mainland Camarines area on Sunday morning, and over mainland Quezon on Sunday afternoon.

“Violent winds and intense rainfall” from Rolly’s inner rainband-eyewall region will be experienced in Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur from early Sunday morning to afternoon, and over Quezon from Sunday afternoon to evening.

The center of the typhoon will then cross the Southern Luzon-Metro Manila area.

“Possible po na…Metro Manila will be directly hit by Typhoon Rolly. So ibig sabihin po ‘yung eyewall niya ay dadaan sa may sa ‘tin, and ‘yung pinaka-destructive or mapanganib at mapinsala pong hangin ng bagyo ay nasa eyewall nito,” said PAGASA Weather Specialist Ariel Rojas.

(It’s possible that Metro Manila will be directly hit by Typhoon Rolly. So that means its eyewall will pass through here, and the typhoon’s most destructive or dangerous winds are in its eyewall.)

Afterwards, it could exit mainland Luzon landmass early Monday morning, November 2.

PAGASA explained that while crossing Luzon, Rolly is forecast to “weaken considerably,” so it may emerge as a severe tropical storm or “minimal” typhoon over the West Philippine Sea.

Coastal conditions

PAGASA maintained that storm surges could occur in the next 24 hours, “which may result in life-threatening and damaging coastal inundation.” Storm surges could be “accompanied by swells and breaking waves reaching the coast.”

  • northern coastal areas of Quezon including Polillo Island, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes – more than 3 meters high
  • coastal areas of Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan; southeastern coastal area of Batangas; southwestern coastal area of Quezon – 2.1 to 3 meters high
  • coastal areas of Aurora, Zambales, Occidental Mindoro; rest of the coastal areas of Bicol, Batangas, Quezon – 1 to 2 meters high

Travel is also risky for all types of vessels in:

  • seaboards of areas under Signal Nos. 1, 2, and 3 – rough to phenomenal seas, with waves 2.5 to 15 meters high
  • remaining seaboards of Northern Luzon as well as eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas that are not under a tropical cyclone wind signal and Caraga – rough to very rough seas, with waves 2.5 to 5 meters high

In the remaining seaboards of the country, there are moderate to rough seas, with waves 1.2 to 2.5 meters high. PAGASA advised those using small vessels to take precautionary measures, while “inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions.”

Rolly could leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday morning, November 3.

Forecast track of Typhoon Rolly (Goni) as of October 31, 2020, 5 pm.
Image from PAGASA

Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Atsani, located outside PAR, is now 1,520 kilometers east of Southern Luzon.

The tropical depression is moving northwest at 25 km/h and may enter PAR on Sunday afternoon.

Once Atsani enters, it will be given the local name Siony. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

This means there would be two tropical cyclones inside PAR at the same time, though PAGASA said Atsani “remains less likely to affect any portion of the country over the next 2 to 3 days.”

Atsani continues to have maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. But it is likely to reintensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 hours.

Rolly is the Philippines’ 18th tropical cyclone for 2020, while Siony would be the 19th. Rolly is also the 5th tropical cyclone for October alone.

An average of 20 tropical cyclones form within or enter PAR each year.

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

Last October 2, 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.