TS Odette gains strength as it moves slowly north

September 18, 2013 10:10 am 

MANILA, Sept. 18 — Tropical storm “Odette” has gained strength as it continued to move slowly towardsNorthern Luzon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Alvin Pura said “Odette” increased its maximum winds near center from 65 kilometers per hour (kph) on Tuesday afternoon to 85 kph Wednesday morning while its gustiness also rose from 80 kph to 100 kph.

Pura said that as of 4:00 a.m., tropical storm Odette was located at 790 km east of Tuguegarao City (17.6°N,130.3°E) and forecast to move west at 9 kph.

Despite its increase in strength, however, Purasaid the cyclone has little effect on the southwest monsoon because of a tropical depression hovering over the West Philippine Sea, outside the country’s area of responsibility.

“Nahihila kasi nito (cyclone off West Philippine Sea)palabas ng ating bansa iyong hanging habagat (southwest monsoon) kaya hindi tayo masyado nakaranas ng malalakas na pag-ulan ngayong araw lalo na dito sa Metro Manila,” he noted.

Pura said the cyclone off the West Philippine Sea isnot expected to enter the country and will move towards Vietnam, where it is forecast to make landfall.

With its speed, he noted that “Odette” will likely staywithin the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) until weekend.

“Base sa mga numerical models, posibleng sa Sabado oLinggo pa ang labas ni Odette ng PAR kung magpapatuloy ito sa mabagal nitong pagkilos,” he said.

Pura blamed a ridge of high pressure area (HPA) nearJapan or on top of “Odette” for its slow movement as it is preventing the cyclone from moving freely.

He said the HPA may also affect the movement of thecyclone in the next few days.

If the cyclone maintains its present westward track, Pura said it has a high chance to make landfall in the vicinity of extreme Northern Luzon likely on Friday.

Pura said Odette is expected to exit the Philippine territory by Sunday towards southern China, where it is expected to make landfall.

He said public storm warning signal number 1 was lifted over Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands on Tuesday afternoon as “Odette” is expected to remain almost stationary within the next 12 to 24 hours.

He said they expect “Odette” to further intensify into atyphoon before it exits the country since it is still over the sea.

Pura also said the western sections of Central and Southern Luzon will experience cloudy skies with occasional moderate to heavy rains due to the effect of the southwest monsoon.

The rest of the country including Metro Manilawill have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with passing light to moderate rains.

In its advisory, PAGASA said the southwest monsoon will be affecting Central and Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The provinces of Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas and Mindoro will experience cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flashfloods and landslides.

Metro Manila, the rest of Central Luzon and of Calabarzon, Visayas and Mindanao will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms while the rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

PAGASA added that moderate to strong winds from the southwest to west will blow over Central and Southern Luzon and coming from the northeast to northwest over the rest of Luzon and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the southwest with slight to moderate seas.

PAGASA also issued gale warning as strong to gale-force winds associated with the southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm "Odette" may affect the seaboards of Occidental Mindoro and Palawan.

"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)



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