Trami strengthens into typhoon ahead of PAR entry

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MANILA, Philippines – Trami intensified from a severe tropical storm into a typhoon as it neared the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) late Sunday morning, September 23.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Trami now has maximum winds of 120 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 100 km/h and gustiness of up to 145 km/h from the previous 120 km/h.

The typhoon is already 1,260 kilometers east of Central Luzon, moving west northwest at a slightly faster 25 km/h from the previous 20 km/h. It is still too far to have any effect on the Philippines.

Trami will be given the local name Paeng once it is inside PAR. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)

The potential Paeng is unlikely to make landfall, and it is not expected to significantly enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. But it might still affect extreme Northern Luzon, or Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands, on Friday, September 28.

PAGASA earlier noted that since the weather disturbance is still too far away, the forecast could still change. The public should continue monitoring updates.

So far, the Philippines has had 15 tropical cyclones in 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.

Parts of Luzon are still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which left at least 95 people dead and caused destruction in provinces up north. (READ: Areas under state of calamity due to Typhoon Ompong)

Meanwhile, the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) will continue to affect Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao on Sunday.

The ITCZ is a belt near the equator where the trade winds of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere meet, usually causing low pressure areas or thunderstorms. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

PAGASA warned there would be light to heavy rain in the Visayas, Mindanao, and Palawan due to the ITCZ. Residents of these areas should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides.

The rest of the country will only have localized thunderstorms on Sunday, mostly in the afternoon or evening. But flash floods and landslides are also possible if the thunderstorms bring heavy rain.

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com