The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is still seeing a possible merging of tropical storm "Maring" (international name "Kompasu") and tropical depression "Nando" while over the Philippine Sea.
Weather specialist Ariel Rojas on Saturday, Oct. 9, said that tropical depression Nando will likely weaken into a remnant low on Sunday, Oct. 10, then merge with the more dominant tropical storm Maring.
He noted that both Maring and Nando are presently embedded within the larger circulation of a monsoon depression.
"A near-term erratic movement remains likely in the next 24 hours as the circulations of both Maring and Nando interact with each other in a potential merger event," PAGASA said in its 11 a.m. tropical cyclone advisory.
Tropical storm Maring, being the larger cyclone, will likely persist in the "merger event," it pointed out.
"The resulting merger cyclone is forecast to continue intensifying within the forecast period and may reach severe tropical storm category within 36 hours," PAGASA said.
The storm may traverse the Luzon Strait and pass over or close to Batanes and the Babuyan Islands between Monday evening, Oct. 11, and Tuesday morning, Oct. 12, based on the latest forecast track.
Before Saturday noon, the center of Maring was estimated at 820 kilometers (km) east of Virac, Catanduanes, while the center of Nando was located 930 km east of Central Luzon.
Maring maintained its strength packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kph while moving west-northwestward at 15 kph.
Meanwhile, Nando slightly weakened with maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph while moving west-southwestward at 45 kph.
Heavy rains, wind gusts expected
PAGASA said Maring may continue to bring moderate to heavy rains over Catanduanes, Eastern Visayas, and Dinagat Islands, while light to moderate with at times heavy rains are likely over the northern portion of Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and the rest of Bicol Region, Caraga, and the Visayas.
It advised affected residents to remain vigilant against possible isolated scattered flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides especially those in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.
Based on its current forecast scenario, there is a "moderate to high likelihood" that tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 will be hoisted over some areas in northern Luzon between Saturday, Oct. 9, and Sunday, Oct. 10, in anticipation of "strong breeze to near-gale conditions with higher gusts."
PAGASA said the highest possible wind signal for tropical storm Maring will likely be Signal No. 2.
However, due to the expansive wind field of the tropical storm, occasional gusts reaching strong breeze to near-gale in strength may still be experienced over Eastern Visayas, Caraga, Catanduanes, Albay, and Sorsogon even in the absence of a wind signal, it added.
PAGASA advised the public to continue monitoring these weather disturbances for possible changes in the track and intensity outlook.