Tropical storm “Pepito” (international name: “Saudel”) is approaching Aurora province and forecast to cross Northern and Central Luzon tonight, Oct. 20, bringing stormy weather along its path through Wednesday, Oct. 21.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the location of tropical storm “Pepito” at 110 kilometers (km) east of Baler, Aurora around 4 p.m., Tuesday. It is moving west-northwest at 30 kilometers per hour (kph).
It could make landfall over Aurora between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., Tuesday, traverse Luzon landmass, and re-emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday morning.
Even before its landfall, “Pepito” continued to slightly intensify with maximum sustained winds of 75 kph and gustiness of up to 90 kph.
Tropical cyclone wind Signal No. 2 was raised over La Union, Pangasinan, Ifugao, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Aurora, southern portion of Isabela (Palanan, San Mariano, Benito Soliven, Naguilian, Gamu, Burgos, San Manuel, Aurora, Cabatuan, Luna, Reina Mercedes, Cauayan City, Dinapigue, San Guillermo, Angadanan, Alicia, San Mateo, Ramon, San Isidro, Echague, San Agustin, Jones, Santiago City, Cordon), southern portion of Ilocos Sur (Sugpon, Alilem, Tagudin), northern portion of Zambales (Iba, Palauig, Masinloc, Candelaria, Santa Cruz, Botolan, Cabangan), and northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar).
Signal No. 1 is also hoisted over Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, the rest of northern portion of Quezon (Infanta, Real), and the rest of Zambales.
Expect moderate to heavy rains to prevail across Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Aurora, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Camarines Norte, Quezon, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, mainland Cagayan, La Union, Pangasinan, and Benguet.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will also affect Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental.
PAGASA weather specialist Ariel Rojas said the tropical storm has a huge circulation thus a large part of the country may experience rains.
The weather bureau warned of possible flooding or rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.
Areas under Signal Nos. 1 and 2 may also experience high to gale-force winds, as well as over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the coastal and/or mountainous areas of mainland Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte due to the northeasterly surface wind flow enhanced by “Pepito,” Rojas said.
A gale warning remains in effect over the seaboards of Batanes, Cagayan, and Ilocos Norte due to rough to very rough seas and waves that may reach 2.8 to 5 meters.
Likewise, the seaboards of areas under Signal Nos. 1 and 2 will be rough to very rough, with waves reaching up to 2.5 to 4.5 meters.
Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for those using small boats, PAGASA warned.
Meanwhile, moderate to rough seas with waves that may reach 1.5 to 3.0 meters will will prevail over the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and Davao Region.
PAGASA advised that those using small boats should take necessary precautionary measures while venturing out to sea.
After crossing the landmass, Zambales, Bataan, and Pangasinan may still experience stormy weather, while other areas will have scattered light to heavy rains on Wednesday, Rojas said.
Central and Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Davao Region, and Soccsksargen will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening.
The tropical storm may further intensify and reach the severe tropical storm category by Thursday while over the West Philippine Sea.
The weather bureau said “Pepito” will be at 275 km west of Dagupan City in Pangasinan by Wednesday afternoon, and outside the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday.