Signal No. 3 up in Catanduanes as Typhoon Tisoy slightly intensifies

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MANILA, Philippines – Signal No. 3 was raised in Catanduanes before dawn on Monday, December 2, as Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) slightly intensified.

In a briefing past 5 am on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tisoy is already 355 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.

It is still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The typhoon now has maximum winds of 150 km/h from the previous 140 km/h and gustiness of up to 185 km/h from the previous 170 km/h. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Tisoy is expected to make landfall either in Catanduanes or Albay, which are both provinces in Bicol, between Monday evening and early Tuesday morning, December 3.

Aside from Catanduanes, many other areas are under a tropical cyclone wind signal. Here's the latest list, now totaling 51 places:

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)

PAGASA added that gusty conditions may also be experienced in areas in Northern Luzon that are not under any tropical cyclone wind signal, due to the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan.

Tisoy is also bringing rain which would be intense at its peak. Below is PAGASA's newest rainfall outlook.

Until Monday afternoon, December 2

Between Monday afternoon, December 2, and Tuesday noontime, December 3

Tuesday afternoon, December 3, until Wednesday noontime, December 4

PAGASA warned that Tisoy could trigger flash floods and landslides.

Ahead of Tisoy's landfall, thousands of people have fled their homes. Albay, one of the potential landfall areas, ordered mandatory evacuation for those living in high-risk zones prone to lahar, landslides, floods, and storm surges.

Storm surges 1 to 3 meters high might affect several coastal areas in Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Samar.

Travel is also risky, especially for small vessels, in the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the western seaboard of Palawan, the central seaboards of the Visayas, and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao.

Classes were suspended in many areas for Monday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Monday, December 2, 2019)

Tisoy also looms as the Philippines hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, with the venues of the regional meet in the typhoon's path.

Based on its latest forecast track, Tisoy is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday morning, December 5.

Forecast track of Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) as of December 2, 2019, 5 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) as of December 2, 2019, 5 am.

Image from PAGASA

Tisoy is the Philippines' 20th tropical cyclone for 2019. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

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

For the month of December, PAGASA had been expecting 0 to 1 tropical cyclone.

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