Typhoon-hit areas, especially Eastern Visayas and Bicol region, should brace for scattered to widespread rains as the low-pressure area east of the country moved closer to these areas Saturday afternoon.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration estimated the LPA’s location about 75 kilometers north-northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar around 3 p.m.
Weather specialist Ariel Rojas said the weather disturbance will approach Samar Island before evening.
The LPA is still more likely to develop into a tropical depression within the next 36 hours and will be named “Tonyo.”
Rojas said two scenarios are being considered regarding the LPA’s development into a tropical depression.
The LPA may develop into a tropical depression over the Sulu Sea, after its passage over Visayas, or it may become a tropical depression over the West Philippine Sea, after traversing the Philippine landmass, he explained.
Either way, Rojas advised the public to brace for heavy rains from this weather disturbance.
Tropical cyclone wind signal No. 1 will be immediately raised once Tonyo develops.
Quezon, Aurora, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Romblon, Sorsogon, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte may experience moderate to heavy rains.
The trough or extension of the LPA may also bring scattered rains over Metro Manila, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, the rest of Visayas, and Mindanao.
Typhoon-battered areas were advised to take necessary precautionary measures due to already saturated soil from recent tropical cyclones “Pepito,” “Quinta,” and “Rolly.”
Likewise, residents in areas that are susceptible to flooding, rain-induced landslides, and sediment-laden stream flow, such as a lahar, were asked to stay vigilant.
PAGASA said the LPA and the easterlies, or the warm and humid winds originating from the Pacific, will bring moderate to rough seas over the seaboards of northern Quezon, including the northern and eastern coastal waters of Polillo Islands and Camarines Norte, northern seaboard of Camarines Sur, northern and eastern seaboards of Catanduanes, and eastern seaboards of Albay, including Rapu-Rapu Islands, Sorsogon, Eastern Samar, Dinagat Islands, and Siargao Islands.
Those using small boats were advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea, while inexperienced mariners were recommended to avoid navigating in these conditions.
The rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.
La Niña underway
Meanwhile, majority of the Philippines has experienced above rainfall conditions in October due to a moderate-to-strong La Niña event that is now well underway in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano said sea surface temperature anomalies strengthened last month.
Citing recent climate models, Malano said moderate-to-strong La Niña will likely persist through February, March, and April, 2021.
The last time there was a strong event was in 2010-2011, followed by a moderate event in 2011-2012.
With the anticipated prevalence of a moderate-to-strong La Niña event, above normal rainfall conditions across most parts of the country may persist in the last quarter of 2020 until the early months of 2021, PAGASA said.
The possibility of floods and landslides that may affect vulnerable sectors is highly likely due to the prevailing La Niña.
In the PAGASA’s rainfall assessment in October, “most parts of the country have experienced above normal rainfall conditions, except for Ilocos Norte where below normal rainfall was observed.”
Of the five tropical cyclones that affected the country last month, only tropical storm “Nika” (Nangka) did not make landfall but enhanced the southwest monsoon or “habagat.”
The other cyclones, tropical depression “Ofel,” typhoon “Pepito” (Saudel), typhoon “Quinta” (Molave), and “Rolly” (Goni), made multiple landfalls and brought heavy to intense rainfall that caused floods and landslides over several regions.
This month, near to above normal rainfall conditions with some patches of below normal rainfall will likely persist over a huge portion of the country.