Tropical storm threatens Northern Luzon

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The tropical depression outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) has intensified into tropical storm with international name “Koppu” and is expected to enter the country by Wednesday afternoon, according to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

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PAGASA defines a tropical storm as moderate tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed of 64 to 118 kph.

In an iterview, PAGASA weather forecaster Shaira Nonot said that as of 4 a.m. Wednesday, the tropical storm Koppu remains outside the PAR — 1,675 km east of Luzon (15.8N, 137.2E) — packed with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It is forecast to move west at 20 kph.

She said the tropical storm is expected to enter PAR on Wednesday afternoon and once it enters the country it will be locally named “Lando”, the 12th tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.

If it maintains its speed and movement, the tropical storm has high chance to make landfall in eastern part of Northern Luzon or in extreme Northern Luzon.

For Wednesday forecast, Nonot said the northeast monsoon is now affecting Northern Luzon while the trough of the tropical storm will bring rains in some parts of Luzon.

The northeast monsoon or “hanging amihan” is the cold wind from China and Siberia that blows into the country from late October until mid-February.

It is usually associated with the Christmas season.

Nonot said due to the presence of northeast monsoon, cloudy skies with light rains will be experienced over Cordillera and Ilocos regions while light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms will prevail over Cagayan Valley, Bicol Region and the provinces of Aurora, Quezon and Samar because of the trough or extended cloudiness of the tropical storm.

She noted fair weather or partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of the country.

Due to the strong to gale force winds associated with northeast monsoon and tropical storm Koppu, the state-run weather bureau also issued gale warning as the sea condition will be rough to very rough and is expected to affect the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon.

”Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” it warned.

In its advisory, PAGASA said moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Eastern Visayas and its coastal waters will be moderate to rough. Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast to northwest with slight to moderate seas. PNA

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