A low pressure area over east of southern Mindanao has intensified into a tropical depression and entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.
In a interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said the tropical depression, locally named “Zorayda”, is the third cyclone to enter the country this month and the 25th for the year.
He noted that PAGASA still expects at least four to five cyclones to affect the country before the year ends.
He said as of 4:00 a.m. the center of Tropical Depression Zorayda was located at 950 km Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur (5.0°N, 135.0°E) with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph. It is forecast to move Northwest at 28 kph.
Aurelio said seven provinces in Mindanao are under public storm warning signal no. 1 (30-60 kph winds) namely Dinagat Island, Siargao Island, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Davao Oriental.
PAGASA said Zorayda will bring rainfall of 5 to 15 mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within its 300-km diameter.
Aurelio said that TD Zorayda will affect Mindanao and some parts of Visayas starting Monday afternoon or evening.
He added there is a possibility that Zorayda would intensify, as it can gain more strength while still at sea before making landfall in Surigao province by Tuesday afternoon.
Aurelio said if Zorayda maintains its movement and speed, it may follow the same path as Yolanda.
PAGASA said Zorayda is forecast to be at 400 km southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur by Tuesday morning, and near Tagbilaran City by Wednesday morning.
By Thursday morning, it is expected to be at 170 km west of Coron, Palawan.
“Sea travel is risky over the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon and eastern seaboard of Northern and Central Luzon,” the weather service warned.
Aurelio said for Monday forecast, Mindanao and Eastern Visayas will be cloudy with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms while the rest of Visayas will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
He added that due to northeast monsoon, the rest of Luzon including Metro Manila will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains.
PAGASA also issued gale warning as strong to gale force winds associated with the surge of Northeast Monsoon is expected to affect the seaboards of Northern and Central Luzon.
“Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” it said. (PNA)