• Tropical storm threatens Bicol region


    Tropical storm “Dodong” (international name Noul) is still outside the`Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) but has gained strength and expected to enter the country on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Tuesday.

    In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Benjie Depas said that as of 4 a.m., “Dodong” was estimated based on all available data at 1,495 kilometers east of Surigao del Norte (9.6°N, 139.1°E).

    He said maximum sustained winds of the storm increased to 85 kilometers per hour near the center from 65 kph, while gustiness also increased to 100 kph from 80 kph.

    He added the storm continues to move West Northwest slowly at 9 kph from the presence of ridge of high-pressure area.

    Depas said with its speed and movement, the tropical storm is expected to enter PAR by Thursday and expected to make landfall in Bicol Region by Saturday or Sunday.

    Another scenario, he said, is the tropical storm may recurve and will not make landfall in the country and head toward Japan.

    Once it enters the PAR, it will be locally named “Dodong,” the fourth tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.

    PAGASA expects at least one to two cyclones to affect the country this May.

    For the Tuesday forecast, Depas said the public will continue to experience warm and humid weather due to easterlies or warm air from the east as it continues to be the dominant weather system affecting the eastern section of Luzon and Visayas.

    He said because of easterlies, the whole country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

    However, he noted that the chances of isolated rains are high in the areas located in the eastern section of the country since it is affected by the easterlies.

    He explained that since the easterlies or winds from the east are “warm,” the convective activity brought about by its intense heat triggers the formation of localized thunderstorm clouds.

    He added that its “rich in moisture” quality also contribute in the formation of thunderstorm clouds. The presence of easterlies will bring high temperatures and good weather conditions to the country in the coming days.

    On Monday, Metro Manila recorded a 33.0 degrees Celsius recorded at around 11 a.m. at the agency’s Science Garden in Diliman, Quezon City.



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