The active low pressure area (ALPA) east of Samar has intensified into a tropical depression and entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Friday.
Named by PAGASA as “Ambo,” it is the country’s first tropical cyclone for this year.
Nikos Peñaranda, weather forecaster, said that as of 4 a.m. Friday, “Ambo” was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 260 kilometers northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar (13.4°N, 127.3°E) with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center. It is forecast to move northwest at 17 kph.
He said “Ambo” will bring heavy rains of 10 to 15 millimeters per hour within its 400-km radius and is expected to be out of the PAR by Monday.
“Ambo” will affect the Bicol region and Visayas area and is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or “hanging habagat,” bringing rains over the entire country, Peñaranda said.
He said “Ambo” may continue to gather strength as it is still at sea and will not make landfall if it maintains its direction. “Sa ngayon, ang kinikilos niya ay northwest, papa-akyat. Kapag tuloy-tuloy ang kanyang pagkilos, hindi na po ito magla-landfall,” he added.
PAGASA said that Catanduanes was placed under Storm Signal No. 1 while the storm warning signal over Samar provinces was lowered.
“Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under Signal No. 1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides,” it said.
Fishermen along the country’s eastern seaboard were likewise warned against sailing due to rough sea conditions.
In its advisory, PAGASA said Catanduanes will have rains with gusty winds with moderate to rough seas.
The rest of the country will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, becoming cloudy with widespread rains over the rest of the eastern section of Southern Luzon and the Visayas. This may trigger flash floods and landslides.
Moderate to strong winds from the northeast to northwest will prevail over Northern Luzon, and coming from the southwest over the rest of the country.
The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough.
According to PAGASA, “Ambo” is forecast to be 330 kms. north-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 320 kms. east of Casiguran, Aurora by Saturday morning.
It will be 390 kms. east-northeast of Aparri, Cagayan by Sunday morning; and 530 kms. northeast of Basco, Batanes by Monday morning.