By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
A tropical depression that has developed east of Mindanao will likely enter the country’s area of responsibility by Saturday or Sunday and will be named “Samuel.”
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather specialist Ariel Rojas said the tropical depression was last spotted at 2,715 kilometers east of Mindanao around Thursday morning. It is moving west at 20 kilometers per hour.
It remains outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) as of Thursday but will likely be inside the PAR by Saturday evening or Sunday morning, Rojas said.
He said the tropical cyclone, once inside the PAR will be named “Samuel,” the first cyclone to enter PAR this month, and 19th this year.
As of Thursday, the tropical depression has a maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 60 kph.
It was first monitored as a low pressure area (LPA) on Wednesday before developing into a tropical depression on Thursday.
Rojas pointed out that this weather disturbance has still no direct effect over any part of the country but expect rainy weather over the eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao once the cyclone moves closer to the country within the next few days.
Meanwhile, the prevailing weather system this weekend is the LPA at 360 kilometers west-southwest of Puerto Princesa City, which will bring moderate to occasional heavy rains over Palawan.
Scattered light to moderate rains and thunderstorms is also expected over Eastern Visayas due to the prevailing LPA.
PAGASA advised residents in these areas of possible flooding or landslides, especially in low-lying and mountainous areas.
This weekend, Northern Luzon will continue to experience some light rains due to the northeast monsoon or amihan, while Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.
PAGASA has not issued a gale warning but advised sea vessels of moderate to rough seas over the coastlines of Luzon and eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao due to moderate to occasionally strong winds from the amihan.
Meanwhile, only slight to moderate seas will prevail over the rest of the country. (Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz)