Philippine tropical cyclones

Typhoon Ulysses soaks parts of Luzon as it moves inland

Acor Arceo
Typhoon Ulysses soaks parts of Luzon as it moves inland

Satellite image of Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) as of November 12, 2020, 5 am.

Image from NOAA

Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Central Luzon are seen to have mostly heavy to intense rain – at times torrential – until Thursday noon, November 12

Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) continued to trigger torrential rain and destructive winds in parts of Luzon, as it moved inland before dawn on Thursday, November 12.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a bulletin released past 5 am on Thursday that Ulysses was already in the vicinity of San Antonio, Nueva Ecija.

Ulysses is moving west northwest at a slightly faster 25 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 20 km/h.

It will continue to cross the landmass of Central Luzon, then emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning.

Ulysses began to cross Central Luzon after making landfall thrice in the province of Quezon:

  1. Patnanungan – 10:30 pm on Wednesday, November 11
  2. Burdeos – 11:20 pm on Wednesday, November 11
  3. General Nakar – 1:40 am on Thursday, November 12

The typhoon maintained its strength before dawn on Thursday, with maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h and gustiness of up to 255 km/h. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

The following areas will continue to experience destructive winds and heavy to intense rain – at times torrential – from Ulysses’ inner rainbands and eyewall within the next 3 hours:

  • central and southern parts of Aurora
  • northern part of Quezon including Polillo Island
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Bulacan
  • Tarlac
  • Pampanga
  • Pangasinan
  • Zambales
  • Bataan
  • Metro Manila
  • Rizal

“Moderate to heavy damage to infrastructure and vegetation is expected,” PAGASA warned. (READ: In Marikina, Typhoon Ulysses brings Ondoy flashbacks)

The state weather bureau also updated its rainfall forecast for Thursday, detailed below.

Until Thursday noon, November 12

Heavy to intense rain, with at times torrential rain
  • Metro Manila
  • Calabarzon
  • Central Luzon
Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • mainland Cagayan Valley
  • Babuyan Islands
  • Pangasinan
  • Marinduque
  • northern part of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
  • northern part of Oriental Mindoro
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • rest of Luzon
  • Visayas

Between Thursday noon and evening, November 12

Moderate to heavy rain
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • eastern part of Cagayan
  • eastern part of Isabela
  • Zambales
  • Bataan
  • Aurora
  • Metro Manila
  • Cavite
  • western part of Batangas
  • northern part of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • rest of Luzon
  • Western Visayas

Residents must stay on alert for floods, landslides, and lahar flows. Parts of Bicol were already hit by massive floods on Wednesday, and at least one person was reported dead.

In terms of winds, tropical cyclone wind signals remain raised as of 5 am on Thursday, with slightly fewer areas included.

Signal No. 3 (destructive typhoon-force winds)
  • southern part of Quirino (Maddela, Nagtipunan)
  • southern part of Nueva Vizcaya (Alfonso Castañeda, Dupax del Norte, Dupax del Sur)
  • Pangasinan
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Aurora
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales
  • Bataan
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • Metro Manila
  • Rizal
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Batangas
  • northern and central parts of Quezon (San Antonio, Tiaong, Dolores, Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucena City, Pagbilao, Tayabas City, Lucban, Mauban, Sampaloc, Padre Burgos, Atimonan, Perez, Alabat, Plaridel, Agdangan, Real, Infanta, General Nakar) including Polillo Island
Signal No. 2 (damaging gale- to storm-force winds)
  • central and southern parts of Isabela (Mallig, Quirino, Ilagan, Roxas, Burgos, Gamu, Palanan, San Mariano, Dinapigue, San Guillermo, Benito Soliven, Naguilian, Reina Mercedes, Luna, San Manuel, Aurora, Cabatuan, Cauayan City, San Mateo, Alicia, Angadanan, Echague, Jones, San Agustin, San Isidro, Ramon, Santiago City, Cordon)
  • rest of Quirino
  • rest of Nueva Vizcaya
  • Mountain Province
  • Ifugao
  • Benguet
  • southern part of Ilocos Sur (Cervantes, Quirino, San Emilio, Lidlidda, Santiago, Banayoyo, Candon City, Galimuyod, Gregorio del Pilar, Salcedo, Santa Lucia, Santa Cruz, Sigay, Suyo, Tagudin, Alilem, Sugpon)
  • La Union
  • northern part of Occidental Mindoro (Paluan, Abra de Ilog) including Lubang Island
  • northern part of Oriental Mindoro (Pola, Victoria, Naujan, Baco, Calapan City, San Teodoro, Puerto Galera)
  • Marinduque
  • rest of Quezon
  • Camarines Norte
  • western part of Camarines Sur (Pamplona, Pasacao, Libmanan,
    Cabusao, Sipocot, Lupi, Ragay, Del Gallego)
Signal No. 1 (strong breeze to near gale conditions)
  • rest of Isabela
  • Kalinga
  • Abra
  • rest of Ilocos Sur
  • rest of Occidental Mindoro
  • rest of Oriental Mindoro
  • Romblon
  • rest of Camarines Sur
  • western part of Albay (Tabaco City, Malilipot, Guinobatan, Pio Duran, Ligao City, Oas, Polangui, Tiwi, Malinao, Libon)
  • Burias Island

In the rest of Northern Luzon, there are strong breeze to gale-force winds due to the surge of the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan.

PAGASA said Ulysses could slightly weaken while crossing Central Luzon “due to frictional effects in the presence of the Sierra Madre and Zambales mountain ranges.” But it is likely to remain a typhoon.

There remains a high risk of storm surges which “can cause life-threatening and damaging coastal inundation,” according to the state weather bureau.

Up to 3 meters high
  • coastal areas of Aurora, northern Quezon including Polillo Island, Cavite, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, and Zambales
Up to 2 meters high
  • coastal areas of Isabela, La Union, Pangasinan, Batangas, rest of Quezon, Marinduque, and northern parts of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island

“Moreover, there is also a moderate risk of seiche or storm surge over the coastal areas surrounding Laguna de Bay,” PAGASA said.

Within the next 24 hours, Ulysses and the surge of the northeast monsoon combined will make travel risky for all types of vessels in certain seaboards.

Rough to very high seas (waves 2.5 to 10 meters high)
  • seaboards of areas under Signal Nos. 1, 2, and 3
  • northern seaboard of Northern Samar
Rough to high seas (waves 3 to 6 meters high)
  • remaining seaboards of Northern Luzon
Rough to very rough seas (waves 2.5 to 4.5 meters high)
  • western seaboard of Palawan including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands
  • seaboards of Bicol not under tropical cyclone wind signals

Meanwhile, waters are moderate to rough, with waves 1.5 to 2.5 meters high in the seaboards below. Small vessels must take precautionary measures.

  • eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao
  • seaboards of Cuyo Islands
  • western seaboard of Panay Island

Ulysses could exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday morning or afternoon, November 13.

Forecast track of Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) as of November 12, 2020, 5 am.
Image from PAGASA

Ulysses is the Philippines’ 21st tropical cyclone for 2020 – already above the yearly average of 20. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

For the next 6 months, these are PAGASA’s estimates for tropical cyclones inside PAR:

  • 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

Since October, La Niña has been underway, which means there is more rain than usual.

Then in November, the northeast monsoon began, signaling “surges of cold temperatures.”

PAGASA warned that La Niña may enhance the northeast monsoon, which could trigger floods and landslides. –

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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.