STORM signals may be raised over the western part of Luzon if tropical storm “Quiel” intensified into a severe tropical storm in the next few hours, the state-run weather bureau said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) last spotted the tropical depression at 400 kilometers west-northwest of Coron, Palawan. It gained strength, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kph. It was observed moving slowly east-southeast.
Pagasa weather specialist Loridien Dela Cruz said an alert signal may be raised over the western part of Central and Southern Luzon.
On Thursday, Quiel and the tail end of a cold front brought cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rainshowers and thunderstorms over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley.
Quiel was also affecting Western Visayas, Zambales, Bataan, Palawan and Mindoro provinces, where cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms may prevail. Metro Manila and the rest of the country may experience localized thunderstorms.
Gale warning remained up in Batanes, Babuyan Islands, the northern coast of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Mindoro Occidental, Lubang Islands, and Palawan. Small boats were prohibited to venture out into these seas.
Dela Cruz said Quiel was not expected to make landfall and could stay within PAR until Friday. Quiel is the 17th tropical cyclone to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this year and the first in November.
Pagasa is also monitoring another typhoon with international name “Halong.” It was last spotted at 2,990 kilometers east of extreme northern Luzon outside PAR. It has slightly weakened, carrying maximum sustained winds of 185 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph. Halong is moving north-northeast at 15kph but was not expected to enter PAR.