The tropical depression that PAGASA is monitoring outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) has intensified into tropical storm “Rai”.

As of 5 p.m., Rai who will be named “Odette” once it enters the PAR, was estimated around 5 p.m. based on all available data at 1,630 kilometers East of Mindanao with a maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, gustiness up to 80 kph, central pressure of 998 hPa, and moving west northwestward at 20 kph.

The tropical storm is forecast to move west northwestward and will likely enter the PAR region as a severe tropical storm tomorrow evening, December 14.

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The west northwestward movement is forecast to continue until Wednesday (15 December) morning or afternoon. Afterwards, the tropical cyclone will turn westward and may make landfall in the vicinity of Caraga or Eastern Visayas by Thursday, December 16, afternoon or evening.

Rai intensified into tropical storm at 2 p.m. today. The tropical cyclone is forecast to gradually intensify within the forecast period and may reach typhoon category by Wednesday. A peak intensity of around 155 kph may be reached prior to landfall.

PAGASA’s regional forecast said the current track and intensity forecast shows that there is a high likelihood that Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals will be hoisted for Visayas, large portions of Mindanao, and several provinces in Southern Luzon due to the threat of strong to typhoon-force winds. The highest possible wind signal that may be hoisted is TCWS #3. Localities situated in the eastern portions of Visayas and Mindanao may be placed under TCWS #1 as early as tomorrow afternoon or evening.

The passage of this tropical cyclone over the central portion of the archipelago may bring heavy rainfall over Visayas, large portions of Mindanao, and several provinces in Southern Luzon. Coastal inundation due to high waves near the coast and storm surge are also possible for low-lying localities near and along the path of the typhoon. Residents over the northern and eastern portions of Northern Luzon and the eastern portion of Central Luzon are also advised to monitor for updates regarding possible heavy rainfall which may occur in relation to the behavior of the shear line during and after the passage of this tropical cyclone.

Considering these developments, the public and disaster risk reduction and management offices concerned are advised to continue monitoring for updates related to this tropical cyclone.

Unless an intermediate advisory or initial tropical cyclone bulletin is released, the next tropical cyclone advisory will be issued at 11:00 PM today.

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