Typhoon ‘Rolly’ may be as strong as 185 kph; may trigger signal No. 3 or 4 — PAGASA

Typhoon "Rolly" (international name: "Goni") could become a very strong typhoon prior to landfall that may prompt authorities to raise tropical cyclone wind signal No. 3 or 4 throughout its passage over Luzon.

In its severe weather bulletin issued at 11 p.m. Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said "Rolly" continued its rapid intensification and has been upgraded into a typhoon.

It has maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph. 

PAGASA said "Rolly" could further intensify while still over the Philippine Sea and is likely to make landfall with a peak intensity of 165 kph to 185 kph.

As of 10 p.m., the eye of typhoon "Rolly" was estimated around 1,280 kilometers (km) east of Central Luzon.

PAGASA said the typhoon is seen to move west-southwest or southwest from Friday until Saturday evening. 

Afterwards, it will turn more west-northwest as it moves over the sea off the coast of Bicol region towards the eastern coast of Central Luzon-Quezon area. 

Based on the forecast track, "Rolly" will likely make landfall over Central Luzon-Quezon province area between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

It is anticipated to become stronger than typhoon "Quinta" which had maximum sustained winds of 130 kph near the center and wind gusts of up to 160 kph upon its landfall over Albay.

The United States' Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has predicted that "Rolly" may reach the super typhoon intensity but it is important to note that JTWC and PAGASA use different thresholds in classifying tropical cyclones.

Nevertheless, PAGASA still advised local government units especially those along the path of the typhoon to prepare fAor a possibly destructive cyclone.

The trough or extension of "Rolly" may already bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and Caraga until Friday morning.

The typhoon's rainbands will likely bring rains over Bicol Region and the eastern section of Northern and Central Luzon starting Saturday or Sunday.

"In anticipation of the arrival of strong to near-gale conditions due to Rolly, tropical cyclone wind signal No. 1 may be raised over several provinces in Bicol region as early as Friday," PAGASA said.

"Given that it is likely for this typhoon to continue intensifying prior to landfall, the highest possible tropical cyclone wind signal that will be raised throughout the passage of this typhoon will be Signal No. 3 or 4," due to the anticipated destructive to very destructive typhoon-force winds, the State weather bureau added. 

PAGASA warned that rough to very rough seas will be experienced over the seaboards of Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur, and the northern seaboard of mainland Cagayan due to the northeasterlies. 

A gale warning is in effect as sea travel is risky over these areas.

While "Rolly" has yet to make landfall, the tropical depression being monitored by PAGASA outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) has likewise intensified hastily.

From a tropical depression in the morning, the cyclone has become a tropical storm around 8 p.m. and was given an international name "Atsani."

Its center was estimated at 2,430 km east of Mindanao, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It is moving northward at 20 kph. 

Based on the latest meteorological data, PAGASA said "Atsani" will likely enter the PAR on Sunday or Monday, but will be less likely to bring severe weather conditions over any part of the country in the next three days. 

Once inside the PAR, "Atsani" will be assigned a local name "Siony."