Kammuri strengthens into severe tropical storm outside PAR

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MANILA, Philippines – Kammuri intensified from a tropical storm into a severe tropical storm while still outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday afternoon, November 27.

In a briefing past 5 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Severe Tropical Storm Kammuri now has maximum winds of 95 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h from the previous 105 km/h.

The severe tropical storm is already 1,645 kilometers east of the Visayas. It slightly slowed down, now moving west at 20 km/h from 25 km/h on Wednesday morning.

Kammuri is likely to enter PAR on Sunday morning, December 1, if it generally maintains its speed and direction.

By the time it enters, it is projected to already be classified as a typhoon. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

When Kammuri enters PAR, it will be given the local name Tisoy. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

Even before that, however, the trough or extension of the severe tropical storm will already affect parts of the Visayas and Mindanao. In the next 24 hours, scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Kammuri's trough are expected in these areas:

As for Kammuri's path once inside PAR, one scenario is that it might affect Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila – though this is not yet definite.

"Maaring magdala ito ng moderate to occasionally heavy na ulan at malakas na bugso ng hangin dito sa malaking bahagi nga ng Central and Southern Luzon, kung saan kabilang na ang Metro Manila at 'yung pagdadausan din po ng Southeast Asian Games," said PAGASA Weather Specialist Benison Estareja.

(It could bring moderate to occasionally heavy rain and strong winds to a big part of Central and Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila and areas where the Southeast Asian Games will be held.)

Kammuri's arrival will coincide with the Philippines' hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held until December 11.

The SEA Games events are all in Luzon, particularly in Metro Manila; Clark, Pampanga; Subic, Zambales; and a number of other areas in the island region. Clark and Subic are both in Central Luzon.

Another scenario, added Estareja, is that Kammuri may approach Northern Luzon.

"Posibleng dumikit ito sa may Northern Luzon. At hindi naman magla-landfall pero makakaapekto pa rin po sa malaking bahagi ng Northern and even Central Luzon, at patungo naman ito sa may southern islands of Japan," he said.

(It could come close to Northern Luzon. And it won't make landfall but it may still affect a big part of Northern and even Central Luzon, then head for the southern islands of Japan.)

Kammuri or the potential Tisoy would be the Philippines' 20th tropical cyclone for 2019.

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually. In the earlier part of the year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones had been projected since 2019 is an El Niño year.

For the month of December, PAGASA is expecting 0 to 1 tropical cyclone.

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