International forecasts are predicting #OdettePH to become a Category 5 super typhoon, but PAGASA remains optimistic it will reduce its strength once it hits the Philippine landmass today, December 16.

Odette is less likely to become a super typhoon, according to local PAGASA weather chief Sonny Pajarilla, especially as she approaches landfall because the cyclone’s surf and winds decrease as it stretches out and loses energy.

“Magiging super typhoon ba? Less likely, dahil napakalapit niya na, magla-landfall na ‘yan mamaya. Kapag nag-landfall ‘yan, hindi na ‘yan lalakas kasi tatama sa kalupaan tapos tatawid. Lalakas ba ‘yan bago dumating sa Palawan, magiging super typhoon? Mas lalong hindi, kasi madi-disrupt na ‘yong kaniyang serkulasyon pagdaan sa mga isla sa pagitan ng Palawan at ng kaniyang landfall area,” he said.

“Ano ang kaniyang mga dadaanan? Una, ang northeastern Mindanao, susunod ay Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros, sunod ay Panay Islands. Lahat ‘yan ay magbabawas ng kaniyang lakas kasi sisirain ang uniformity ng serkulasyon from top to bottom. Plus, mahirap ang kaniyang makukuhang moisture dahil dadaan siya sa landmass. These are the intervening factors kung bakit hihina kapag tumama sa lupa,” Pajarilla added.

In the province, Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 2 is raised over Cuyo Islands, Cagayancillo Islands, and TCWS No. 1 is raised over mainland Palawan, including Balabac, Calamian, and Kalayaan Islands.

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Pajarilla explained that the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command used a one-minute average, but PAGASA and Japan are using the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standard for weather stations, which is a 10-minute average wind speed.

“Kung sasabihin natin kung sino ang tama—tama dapat ang PAGASA diyan. Bakit? Tayo ay may datos, nandito sa atin ang bagyo, nasa atin ang instrument, wala silang instrument. Ang kanilang pagbabasehan sa ibang bansa ay galing lang dapat sa atin. Ang kanilang direktang instrument ay satellite lang, ang satellite is remote, wala ka doon, malayo ‘yon, meron lang physics o mathematical computation na gagamitin. Whereas, tayo ay abot na ‘yan ng ating mga radar. Hinatuan radar, Guiuan Radar, nasusukat na ‘yan ng ating mga instrumento,” he added.

PAGASA’s Tropical Cyclone Bulletin No. 9 issued at 8 a.m., December 16, stated Odette’s center has been estimated at 4 a.m. at 265 kilometers (kms) East of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte based on all available data, including those from Hinatuan Doppler Weather Radar.

Its intensity is packing maximum sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, gustiness of up to 205 kph, and a central pressure of 950 hector Pascals (hPa). It is presently moving west-northwestward at 25 kph, and its strong winds or higher extend outwards is up to 480 kms from the center.

TCWS No. 3 (Destructive typhoon-force winds prevailing or expected within 18 hours) is raised over:

  • Visayas – Southern Leyte, the southern portion of Leyte (Abuyog, Mahaplag, City of Baybay, Inopacan, Hindang, Hilongos, Bato, Matalom, Javier), Bohol, and the central and southern portions of Cebu (Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Carmen, Danao City, Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Cebu City, City of Talisay, Minglanilla, City of Naga, San Fernando, Ginatilan, Samboan, Santander, Oslob, Badian, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Malabuyoc, Alegria, Argao, Catmon, Tuburan, Asturias, Sogod, Balamban, Toledo City, Pinamungahan, City of Carcar, Aloguinsan, Barili, Dumanjug, Sibonga, Moalboal, Ronda, Alcantara) including Camotes Islands
  • Mindanao – Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, the northern portion of Agusan del Norte (Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, Kitcharao), and the northern portion of Surigao del Sur (Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza, Cortes, City of Tandag)

TCWS No. 2 (Damaging gale- to storm-force winds prevailing or expected within 24 hours) is raised over:

  • Luzon – Sorsogon, Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands, Cuyo Islands, Cagayancillo Islands, the southern portion of Oriental Mindoro (Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, Bulalacao), and Romblon
  • Visayas – Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, the rest of Leyte, the rest of Cebu including Bantayan Islands, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor, Guimaras, Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, and Aklan
  • Mindanao – The rest of Surigao del Sur, the rest of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, the northern portion of Bukidnon (Malitbog, Impasug-Ong, Manolo Fortich, Libona, Baungon, Sumilao), Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, the northern portion of Misamis Occidental (Lopez Jaena, Plaridel, Baliangao, Calamba, Sapang Dalaga, Concepcion, Oroquieta City, Aloran), and the extreme northern portion of Zamboanga del Norte (Rizal, Sibutad, Dapitan City, Dipolog City, Polanco, Piñan, La Libertad, Mutia)

TCWS No.1 (Strong winds prevailing or expected within 36 hours) is raised over:

  • Luzon – Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias Island, Marinduque, the southern portion of Quezon (San Antonio, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Dolores, Lucena City, Pagbilao, Padre Burgos, Atimonan, Agdangan, Unisan, Gumaca, Plaridel, Pitogo, Lopez, Guinayangan, Buenavista, Catanauan, General Luna, Macalelon, Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, San Francisco, Tagkawayan, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, City of Tayabas, Perez), Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, mainland Palawan including Balabac, Calamian, and Kalayaan Islands
  • Mindanao – The northern portion of Davao Oriental (Baganga, Cateel, Boston), the northern portion of Davao de Oro (Laak, Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, New Bataan, Compostela), the northern portion of Davao del Norte (Talaingod, Santo Tomas, Kapalong, Asuncion, San Isidro, New Corella), the rest of Misamis Occidental, the rest of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, the northern portion of Zamboanga del Norte (Labason, Kalawit, Tampilisan, Liloy, Salug, Godod, Bacungan, Sindangan, Siayan, Jose Dalman, Manukan, Pres. Manuel A. Roxas, Katipunan, Sergio Osmeña Sr., Gutalac, Baliguian), the northern portion of Zamboanga del Sur (Bayog, Lakewood, Kumalarang, Guipos, Mahayag, Dumalinao, Tukuran, Tambulig, Ramon Magsaysay, Aurora, Molave, Sominot, Tigbao, Labangan, Josefina, Pagadian City, Midsalip, Dumingag), and the northern portion of Zamboanga Sibugay (Titay, Ipil, Naga, Kabasalan, Siay, Diplahan, Buug)

Considering the ongoing rapid intensification of the typhoon, there is an increasing likelihood that TCWS #4 will be hoisted for several localities near and along the immediate path of the typhoon.

Destructive typhoon-force winds will be experienced within any of the areas where TCWS #3 is in effect. This may bring moderate to heavy damage to structures and vegetation.

Damaging winds reaching gale- to storm-force strength will be experienced within any of the areas where TCWS #2 is in effect. This may result in generally light to moderate damage to structures and vegetation.

Strong winds (a strong breeze to near gale) with higher gusts will be experienced within any of the areas where TCWS #1 is currently in effect during the passage of the typhoon. This may generally bring up to very light damage to structures and vegetation.

There is a moderate to high risk of storm surge of up to 3.0 m in height which may cause life-threatening flooding in the low-lying coastal areas of Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, and several localities in the northern portion of Palawan including Calamian, Cuyo and Cagayancillo Islands, Antique, the southern portion of Samar, Leyte, and Davao Oriental.

Track and intensity outlook
PAGASA said that on the forecast track, Odette will continue moving generally westward over the Philippine Sea and the center of its eye is forecast to make its initial landfall in the vicinity of Dinagat Islands, Siargao-Bucas Grande Islands, or the northern portion of Surigao del Sur this noon or early afternoon.

Afterward, its center will move westward and cross several provinces in Central and Western Visayas regions before emerging over the Sulu Sea tomorrow morning. After passing near or in the vicinity of either Cuyo or Cagayancillo archipelago, she is forecast to cross the northern or central portion of Palawan tomorrow afternoon or evening before emerging over the West Philippine Sea.

Typhoon Odette is forecast to continue intensifying until it makes landfall this afternoon. Considering the recent trend in its intensification, the typhoon may reach a pre-landfall peak intensity of 175 to 195 km/h prior to landfall.

PAGASA also said Odette may see some slight weakening as it crosses northeastern Mindanao, Visayas, and Palawan, but it is forecast to remain as a typhoon. Re-intensification is likely once she emerges over the West Philippine Sea. However, weakening may ensue beginning Sunday as the typhoon becomes exposed to increasing vertical wind shear and the surge of the Northeast Monsoon.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.