By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
There is a slim chance of tropical cyclone formation that may affect the country this month, as the cold northeast monsoon or “amihan” peaks in January until February.
The amihan and the easterlies will likely continue to prevail across the country on Thursday, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather specialist Meno Mendoza.
He said the amihan and the tail-end of cold front or the boundary between the cold amihan and warm easterlies could bring cloudy skies with scattered rains and isolated thunderstorms over Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Aurora, and northern Quezon.
Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Abra, and Benguet may experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains also due to the surge of amihan.
Mendoza said a strong rush of wind due to amihan could be felt in the mountainous and coastal areas of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Ilocos Region.
He noted that a gale warning remains in effect as strong to gale force winds are expected to trigger rough to very rough seas over the coasts of Batanes, Calayan, Babuyan, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur.
Fishing boats and other small sea craft were advised not to venture out into the sea, while larger sea vessels were alerted against big waves.
Meanwhile, the warm and humid easterlies could bring partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms over Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
PAGASA warned of possible isolated flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms.
Based on the PAGASA’s historical record, up to one cyclone could enter or directly affect the country in January.