Tropical storm ‘Siony’ approaching Batanes-Babuyan islands

Published November 4, 2020, 6:45 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Tropical cyclone wind signal No. 3 may be raised due to severe tropical storm “Siony” (international name “Atsani”), as it will likely further intensify into a typhoon prior to its close approach or landfall over Batanes-Babuyan Islands between Thursday and Friday.

In its severe weather bulletin issued at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated Siony’s location around 735 kilometers (km) east of Basco, Batanes with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

It reached the severe tropical storm category at  2 p.m.
Siony was previously a tropical storm that had maximum sustained winds of 85 kph and winds gusts up to 105 kph. 

It could be further upgraded into a typhoon prior to its landfall or close approach over extreme Northern Luzon and may reach its peak intensity of 125 kph, PAGASA said.

A tropical cyclone is classified as typhoon if it registers maximum wind speed of 118 kph to 220 kph.

Based on its latest track, the weather bureau said Siony may continue to move slowly or remain almost stationary in the next six to 12 hours. Afterwards, the severe tropical storm will move generally west or west-northwest towards the Luzon Strait and extreme Northern Luzon. 

“This will bring the center of Siony over or very close to the Batanes and Babuyan Islands between Thursday evening and Friday morning. As such, a landfall scenario over these localities is still likely,” PAGASA said. 

Signal No. 1 remains hoisted over the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga) and the eastern portion of Babuyan Islands (Balintang Island, Babuyan Island, Didicas Island, and Camiguin Island including their adjoining islets).

PAGASA said strong to gale-force winds with “higher” gusts may affect Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northern coastal areas of Cagayan and Ilocos Norte in the next 24 hours due to the northeasterlies enhanced by Siony and tropical storm Rolly.

Based on available meteorological data, PAGASA said the highest wind signal that could be raised will be Signal No. 3 in areas near or along the projected track of the storm.

PAGASA said the combined effects of the northeasterlies and the trough or extension of Siony may bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol region, Aurora, Quezon, and the eastern portions of Cagayan and Isabela. 

It asked the public to stay vigilant against possible flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.

Those in areas that received significant rainfall during the recent tropical cyclones, Pepito, Quinta, and Rolly were also advised to take extra precaution due to already saturated soil.

Likewise, the combined effects of Siony, Rolly, and the enhanced northeasterlies will bring rough to very rough seas with waves that may reach 2.8 to 5.0 meters over the entire seaboards of Northern Luzon, northern seaboard of Camarines Sur, northern and eastern seaboards of Catanduanes, and seaboards of Aurora, Camarines Norte, Kalayaan Islands, and northern Quezon, including the northern and eastern coastal waters of Polillo Islands.

Sea travel is risky over these waters, especially for those using small boats, PAGASA said.

Meanwhile, moderate to rough seas with wave heights up to 1.5 to 2.5 m will be experienced over the western seaboard of Central Luzon, eastern and western seaboards of Southern Luzon, and eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao. 

PAGASA advised mariners of small sea vessels to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea, while inexperienced mariners were asked to avoid navigating in these conditions.
Based on its forecast track, Siony will leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Friday afternoon or evening.

If the projected track does not change, Siony will be about 404 km east of Calayan, Cagayan by Thursday afternoon; 195 km west of Basco, Batanes by Friday afternoon; and 655 km west of Basco or outside the PAR by Saturday afternoon.