Ramon weakens into LPA; Tropical Storm Sarah maintains strength

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MANILA, Philippines – Ramon (Kalmaegi) weakened from a tropical depression into a low pressure area (LPA), while Tropical Storm Sarah (Fung-wong) maintained its strength on Wednesday afternoon, November 20.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA which used to be Ramon is already in the vicinity of Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.

PAGASA earlier said Ramon would "significantly weaken" after making landfall, "due to land interaction and the northeast monsoon."

Ramon had made landfall as a typhoon in Santa Ana, Cagayan, at 12:20 am on Wednesday.

Even though Ramon is just an LPA now, there will still be rain on Wednesday night in the following areas:

Light to moderate rain with occasional heavy rain

Light to moderate rain with intermittent heavy rain

PAGASA added that strong to gale force winds will still prevail over Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands, while occasional gusty conditions may be experienced in the rest of Northern Luzon due to the surge of the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan.

Thousands of residents fled their homes ahead of Ramon's landfall, fearing possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Ramon was the Philippines' 18th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 2nd for November.

Forecast track of the low pressure area which used to be Tropical Depression Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 20, 2019, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of the low pressure area which used to be Tropical Depression Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 20, 2019, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Meanwhile, Sarah is now 540 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. It is moving north northwest at a relatively fast 30 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical storm continues to have maximum winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.

Here is the latest list of areas under Signal No. 1:

Signal No. 1 (winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h)

Sarah is expected to trigger rain on Thursday, November 21. Flash floods and landslides remain possible, especially in areas which were already hit hardest by Ramon.

Light to moderate rain with intermittent heavy rain

Due to Sarah and the northeast monsoon, travel is risky in the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, the seaboards of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon, and the western seaboard of Southern Luzon.

Sarah might leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Saturday, November 23. It is the Philippines' 19th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 3rd for November.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Sarah (Fung-wong) as of November 20, 2019, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Sarah (Fung-wong) as of November 20, 2019, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones had been projected. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

With Sarah's arrival, the estimate has been exceeded for the year and also for the month of November.

These had been the projections for the last two months of 2019:

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com