By Marjaleen Ramos and Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
Tropical storm Quiel has slightly intensified while remaining almost stationary over the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported.
Around 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the location of Quiel at 455 kilometers (km) west-northwest of Coron, Palawan.
It has been upgraded from tropical depression to tropical storm category with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 90 kph.
As it remains almost stationary over the sea, Quiel may further intensify into a severe tropical storm with maximum winds between 89 kph and 117 kph within 24 hours.
It is still not expected to make landfall over the Philippines, PAGASA weather specialist Meno Mendoza said.
Should it maintain its current speed and track, Quiel will be outside the country’s area of responsibility by Saturday, he added.
Aside from Quiel, the tail-end of cold front, which is the boundary between warm and cold air masses, prevailing over Northern Luzon, will also bring rains over some portions of Luzon.
PAGASA said Quiel may bring cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in Pangasinan, Negros Oriental, Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula.
Meanwhile, the tail-end of cold front may continue to bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera Administrative Region.
Residents in these areas, especially those in areas identified to be “highly” or “very highly” susceptible to floods and rain-induced landslides, should remain alert and take the necessary precautionary measures.
Sea travel is also risky, especially for small sea vessels, over the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon and the western seaboard of Southern Luzon due to potentially rough sea conditions.
Meanwhile, another weather disturbance named typhoon “Halong” east of extreme Northern Luzon remains less likely to enter the Philippines.
It was too far from the country at 2,975 km east of extreme Northern Luzon on Wednesday afternoon.
PAGASA said the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.
Severe thunderstorms that may occur during late afternoon or early evening could trigger flash floods over low-lying areas or landslides over mountainous regions, Mendoza warned.