Severe Tropical Storm Nimfa accelerates ahead of exit from PAR

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MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Nimfa (Tapah) accelerated and maintained its strength on Friday evening, September 20, just hours away from leaving the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

In a bulletin issued 11 pm on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Nimfa is already 650 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes.

It is now moving north northwest at 10 kilometers per hour (km/h), after being almost stationary or barely moving on Friday afternoon. This pace, however, is still relatively slow.

The severe tropical storm continues to have maximum winds of 95 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h.

Nimfa is not expected to make landfall in the country, and there are no areas under tropical cyclone wind signals. But its trough or extension earlier brought rain to some areas.

Based on Nimfa's latest forecast track, it will leave PAR on Saturday morning, September 21.

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Nimfa (Tapah) as of September 20, 2019, 11 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Nimfa (Tapah) as of September 20, 2019, 11 pm.

Image from PAGASA

While the severe tropical storm is on its way out, the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat is still causing rain in Luzon. Here's the latest rainfall forecast:

Friday evening, September 20, until Saturday evening, September 21

PAGASA advised those areas to remain on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Travel also remains risky in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon as well as the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon due to rough to very rough sea conditions. The other seaboards of the country will remain moderate to rough, said PAGASA.

Nimfa is the Philippines' 14th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 4th in September. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones are expected.

Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones from September to December:

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