Tropical storm “Auring” is forecast to make landfall over Caraga Region on Sunday, Feb.21, and may further weaken as it approaches the country, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Saturday, Feb. 20.
In its 11 a.m. bulletin, PAGASA said Auring maintained its strength over the Philippine Sea, with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph while moving Eastward at 15 kph.
The center of Auring is forecast to make landfall over the eastern coast of Caraga Region on Sunday afternoon or evening, then cross Visayas and the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) region throughout the remainder of Sunday through Monday.
“Auring is more likely to remain as a tropical storm until it makes landfall over Caraga. However, there is an increasing likelihood that the storm will weaken into a tropical depression before making landfall,” the agency said.
“Nevertheless, this storm will likely weaken considerably due to significant terrain interaction and persistent vertical wind shear during this passage over the archipelago and may reach tropical depression category by Monday,” it added.
At 10 a.m. Friday, the center of the storm was at 595 km East Southeast of Hinatuan town, Surigao del Sur.
PAGASA has placed the following areas in Visayas under tropical cyclone wind signal number 1: Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Siquijor.
Signal number 1 was also raised in Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao City, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon, and Lanao del Sur in Mindanao.
Based on the forecast track, Auring is estimated to gradually move northwestward in the next 12 hours before accelerating.
It is estimated to be at 240 km East Southeast of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte by Sunday morning, and will reach the Central Visayas area at around 80 km East of Roxas City, Capiz by Monday.
“From storm intensity, it is possible for Auring to become tropical depression when it hits the landmass,” weather specialist Raymond Ordinario said.
“And by Tuesday, we expect it to possibly dissipate and become a low pressure area at around 30 kilometers East of Coron, Palawan,” he added.
Ordinario noted that they are seeing a “weakening scenario” for Auring due to the prevailing cold winds in the storm’s path as it crosses the country landmass.
Heavy to intense rains may be experienced in Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, and Eastern Samar starting Saturday through Sunday noon.
During the same time, moderate to heavy with at times intense rains would be expected in Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, and the rest of Caraga. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Central Visayas, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and the rest of Northern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas.
From Sunday noon until Monday noon, moderate to heavy with at times intense rains may occur in Leyte, Southern Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Islands; while light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Bicol Region, Mimaropa region, the southern portion of Quezon, and the rest of Visayas and Caraga.