‘Siony’ may reach Batanes, Babuyan islands on Friday morning

Published November 5, 2020, 12:04 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

A slow-moving severe tropical storm “Siony” (international name “Atsani”) continued to crawl towards Batanes and Babuyan Islands, which prompted authorities to also place Batanes under tropical cyclone wind signal No. 1 on Wednesday evening.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Siony is more likely to make landfall or move close to Batanes and Babuyan Islands by Friday morning.

It will begin to accelerate and move west or west-northwest towards the Luzon Strait in the next 48 hours. 

In its severe weather bulletin issued at 11 p.m., PAGASA estimated Siony’s location about 670 kilometers (km) east of Basco, Batanes  with maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

In anticipation of Siony’s direct effect to the extreme Northern Luzon, Signal No. 1 has been hoisted over Batanes, northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga), and eastern portion of Babuyan Islands (Balintang Island, Babuyan Island, Didicas Island, and Camiguin Island, including their adjoining islets.

PAGASA said the severe tropical storm may reach typhoon category with a peak intensity of 120 kph to 130 kph by Friday morning as it passes near or over the Batanes-Babuyan Islands area. 

“Areas covered by the wind signal may be expanded on Thursday morning to cover other localities in Northern Luzon,” PAGASA added.

It also pointed out that there is now an increasing likelihood of hoisting Signal No. 3 in areas near or along the projected track of the storm.

Cyclone impacts

PAGASA advised that strong breeze to near gale conditions may prevail in the next 24 hours over Batanes, Babuyan Islands,  northern portion of Ilocos Norte, and northern and eastern coastal areas of mainland Cagayan due to the prevailing northeasterlies or the cold winds originating from the north.

Based on all available meteorological data, the earliest onset of strong breeze to near gale conditions associated with Siony over the areas currently under Signal No. 1 will be on Thursday evening. 

Likewise, in the next 24 hours, the troughs or extensions of Siony and Rolly (Goni) may bring scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rain showers over Pangasinan and most parts of Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate, Visayas, and Mindanao. 

Siony and Rolly could also enhance the northeasterlies that may trigger rough to very rough seas with waves that may reach up to 2.5 meters to 5.5 meters over the northern, eastern, and western seaboards of Northern Luzon, the eastern and western seaboards Southern Luzon, and eastern seaboard of Central Luzon.

Sea travel has been suspended in these areas.

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.

After leaving the Philippine area of responsibility on Friday afternoon or evening, PAGASA said Siony may turn towards the southwest on Saturday morning and accelerate over the West Philippine Sea towards the general direction of central or southern Vietnam.

Siony could also gradually weaken due to increasingly unfavorable conditions over the West Philippine Sea associated with a northeasterly surge, it added.

On Wednesday afternoon, PAGASA also monitored a new low pressure area (LPA) about 1,760 kilometers east of Mindanao.

It may enter the PAR by Friday but has a slim chance of becoming a tropical depression as of Wednesday.