By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz
Expect improved weather conditions in the whole country by Saturday, as tropical storm “Falcon” (international name “Danas”) moves out of the Philippine area of responsibility.
Tropical cyclone wind signals in some areas directly affected by Falcon have been lowered or lifted on Wednesday afternoon. Only Batanes remains under Signal No. 2, while Apayao, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Babuyan group of islands were still under Signal No. 1.
Falcon has maintained its maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 80 kph, after making landfall over Gattaran, Cagayan around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Its location was estimated at 265 kilometers (km) east of Calayan, Cagayan around 5 p.m.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio said moderate to, at times, heavy rains will persist in some areas in Luzon, particularly Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, northern Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Islands, and Romblon on Thursday due to Falcon and the cyclone-enhanced southwest monsoon or “habagat.”
Meanwhile, light to moderate with, at times, heavy rains were still likely over Metro Manila, and the rest of Luzon and Visayas.
Aurelio advised the public to remain vigilant for possible flash floods or landslides, especially in low-lying or mountainous areas.
Likewise, sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas with tropical cyclone wind signals, seaboards of Luzon, and western and eastern coastline of Visayas.
Should it maintain its north-northwest movement at 20 kph, Aurelio said Falcon will be outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Friday.
Metro Manila may experience gradual improvement in weather situation by Friday, and in the rest of the country by Saturday, apart from some isolated rain showers and thunderstorms, he added.
Meanwhile, the low pressure area (LPA) 180 km west of Sinait, Ilocos Sur will likely maintain its strength, as it moves outside the country’s vicinity in the next few hours.
Falcon and the habagat seem to have failed to contribute to the gradual recovery of the Angat Dam as significant rains have not reached the Angat Watershed in Norzagaray, Bulacan.
The water level at Angat Dam was down by 31 centimeters from 158.69 meters last Tuesday to 158.38 meters on Wednesday.
Its current level is just 82 centimeters short of its 157.56-meter record-low registered in July 18, 2010.
PAGASA earlier said Angat Dam needs at least 350 millimeters of one-time rainfall occurrence to recover to its minimum operating level of 180 meters.
To reach its 210-meter normal high water level, about 1,160 mm of rainfall, equivalent to four to five cyclones, will be needed.