The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said tropical depression “Auring” may intensify into a tropical storm on Friday, Feb. 19, ahead of its anticipated landfall over Caraga region on Sunday morning. Feb. 21.
After crossing Caraga region, Auring may also traverse a large part of the Visayas over the weekend, weather specialist Benison Estareja said during PAGASA’s 5 a.m. briefing on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Estareja said Auring may also affect Bicol region and Southern Luzon from Sunday evening to Monday morning, Feb. 22, while Metro Manila may also experience cloudy skies by Monday.
Moderate to heavy rainfall and gusty winds due to the tropical cyclone will be felt from Saturday to Monday, he added.
Estareja advised those in Visayas, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Masbate, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marindque, Romblon, Palawan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon to prepare as early as now.
Flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards, he said.
As Auring moves closer to the country, Estareja said tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 may be raised over Caraga and Davao region as early as Friday, while signal numbers 1 and 2 may be also hoisted over other parts of Mindanao, Visayas, and Southern Luzon by weekend.
As of 3 a.m., Thursday, Auring was at 715 kilometers east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph. It is moving west slowly.
It is forecast to move west-northwest with an increase in speed on Friday, until it makes landfall over Caraga region.
Estareja said Auring may intensify into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours or on Friday morning, and will likely remain as a tropical storm until early next week.
Auring will be over the West Philippine Sea by Tuesday, he said.