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Christmas Eve storm

TRACK of tropical depression outside par

TRACK of tropical depression outside PAR


Visayas and Mindanao should prepare for a potential direct hit from a tropical depression on Christmas Eve, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration warned yesterday.

The State weather bureau estimated the location of the tropical depression about 1,855 kilometers east of Mindanao or still outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility around 10 a.m. yesterday.

Should it maintain its westward track at 40 kilometers per hour, the tropical cyclone will be inside the PAR today or tomorrow and will be given its local name “Ursula,” PAGASA weather specialist Raymond Ordinario said. Ursula will be the 21st tropical cyclone of 2019.

The tropical depression has maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 60 kph as of yesterday.

Ordinario said the tropical cyclone could further intensify while it draws more energy from the ocean.

“Based on our latest data, the tropical cyclone will possibly make landfall over the southern part of Eastern Visayas or northern tip of Northern Mindanao by Dec. 24 and traverse the landmass of Mindanao, Visayas, and Southern Luzon on its way to the West Philippine Sea on Dec. 25, Christmas Day,” he pointed out.

Beginning Tuesday, moderate to occasionally heavy rains may prevail over Visayas and northeastern Mindanao.

He also warned the earthquake-hit communities in Mindanao to be alert for possible flash floods or rain-induced landslides.

“Residents in Davao area who were affected by recent earthquakes should take the necessary precautionary measures due to possible landslides or flooding from the approaching weather disturbance,” he said.

The tropical cyclone is expected to be 1,430 kms east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, maintaining its tropical depression strength, today, and at 875 kms east of Hinatuan tomorrow as a tropical storm.

A low-pressure area 410 kms east-southeast of Hinatuan has been bringing scattered moderate to occasional heavy rains over Caraga, Davao region, and Eastern Visayas. Ordinario said the LPA has a minimal chance of becoming a tropical cyclone and “could eventually dissipate this weekend.”

Warm and humid easterlies will be the prevailing weather system that may bring cloudy skies with isolated rain showers and thunderstorms over Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, and Quezon. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.