Most parts of the country will experience rainy weather on Thursday as tropical depression “Mario” has intensified into a storm, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
PAGASA defines a tropical storm as moderate tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed of 64 to 118 kph (25 to 75 mph).
In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Meno Mendoza said that as of 4 a.m. Thursday tropical storm Mario was estimated 460 km east of Catarman, Northern Samar (12.9ºN, 129.1ºE) packed with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 28 kph.
Maintaining its speed and movement, he said “Mario” may yet make a landfall in Batanes area.
Mendoza said that since “Mario” is still in the sea, the tropical storm is expected to intensify into a typhoon category.
So far no public storm warning signal has been raised but Mendoza said once the tropical storm moves closer to the country it will put into alert areas in Northern Luzon.
He added the tropical storm is expected to be out of Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Sunday headed towards Taiwan.
Tropical storm “Mario” will bring moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms over Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas which may trigger flashfloods and landslides.
He added due to wind convergence the rest of Luzon including Metro Manila, the rest of Visayas and the regions of Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao and Caraga will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms while the rest of Mindanao will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
In its advisory, PAGASA said moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast to northwest will prevail over Luzon and coming from the northwest to southwest over Visayas and the eastern section of Mindanao. The coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.
Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northwest to southwest with slight to moderate seas.
The state weather bureau also issued a gale warning — strong to gale force winds associated with the tropical storm “Mario” affect the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“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 warned. PNA