Philippine tropical cyclones

Typhoon Ulysses leaving land, but rain to persist

Acor Arceo
Typhoon Ulysses leaving land, but rain to persist

Satellite image of Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) as of November 12, 2020, 8 am.

Image from NOAA

Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) is heading for the West Philippine Sea early Thursday morning, November 12, but rainfall warnings and tropical cyclone wind signals remain in place

Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) was leaving Luzon landmass through the province of Zambales early Thursday morning, November 12, but the state weather bureau warned that rain would still continue throughout the day.

In a bulletin released past 8 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ulysses was already in the vicinity of Cabangan, Zambales.

It slightly accelerated again, now moving west northwest toward the West Philippine Sea at 30 kilometers per hour (km/h).

As projected, Ulysses weakened while crossing Central Luzon due to its interaction with the Sierra Madre and Zambales mountain ranges, though it remains a typhoon. Its maximum sustained winds decreased from 155 km/h to 130 km/h, and its gustiness also went down from 255 km/h to 215 km/h.

But PAGASA also said Ulysses may slightly reintensify over the West Philippine Sea. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Below is the state weather bureau’s latest rainfall outlook as of 8 am on Thursday.

Until Thursday afternoon, 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 afternoon 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

Tropical cyclone wind signals are still up as well, a warning to the public that fierce winds will continue. Here is the list as of 8 am:

Signal No. 3 (destructive typhoon-force winds)
  • northern part of Cavite (Naic, Tanza, Ternate, Maragondon, Rosario, Noveleta, Cavite City, Kawit, Bacoor, Imus, General Trias, Trece Martires City, Dasmariñas)
  • Metro Manila
  • western part of Bulacan (San Miguel, San Ildefonso, San Rafael, Angat, Santa Maria, Marilao, Meycauayan City, Obando, Bulacan, Bocaue, Pandi, Bustos, Baliuag, Plaridel, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Malolos City, Paombong, Hagonoy, Calumpit, Pulilan)
  • western part of Nueva Ecija (Gapan City, Peñaranda, Santa Rosa, Cabanatuan City, General Mamerto Natividad, Llanera, San Jose City, Lupao, Cabiao, San Isidro, San Leonardo, Jaen, San Antonio, Zaragoza, Aliaga, Talavera, Licab, Quezon, Santo Domingo, Guimba, Muñoz City, Talugtug, Cuyapo, Nampicuan)
  • Pampanga
  • Tarlac
  • Bataan
  • Zambales
  • Pangasinan
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)
  • Quirino
  • 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
  • Aurora
  • rest of Nueva Ecija
  • rest of Bulacan
  • northern and central part of Quezon (San Antonio, Tiaong, Dolores, Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucban, Tayabas City, Lucena City, Pagbilao, Perez, Alabat, Atimonan, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Plaridel, Mauban, Sampaloc, Real, General Nakar, Infanta) including Polillo Island
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • rest of Cavite
  • Batangas
  • northern part of Oriental Mindoro (Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco, Calapan City)
  • northern part of Occidental Mindoro (Paluan, Abra de Ilog) including Lubang Island
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
  • Marinduque
  • northern part of Romblon (Corcuera, Banton, Concepcion)
  • rest of Quezon
  • Camarines Norte
  • western part of Camarines Sur (Siruma, Tinambac, Calabanga, Bombon, Magarao, Canaman, Camaligan, Gainza, Pamplona, Pasacao, Libmanan, Cabusao, Sipocot, Lupi, Ragay, Del Gallego)

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.

Meanwhile, 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 Romblon and 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

Before crossing Central Luzon in the early hours of Thursday, Ulysses made landfall thrice in Quezon province.

  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

Even before the typhoon hit Quezon and Central Luzon, it passed very close to Bicol, leaving at least one person dead and causing massive floods in the region.

As Ulysses crossed Central Luzon, Metro Manila also felt the wrath of the typhoon. In Marikina City, as the Marikina River’s water level rose, residents were reminded of the deadly onslaught of Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana) in September 2009.

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, 8 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.