Quiel strengthens into severe tropical storm

What's the weather like in your area? Tweet us at @rapplerdotcom.

MANILA, Philippines – Quiel (Nakri) intensified from a tropical storm into a severe tropical storm on Thursday morning, November 7, as it continued to bring rain to parts of Luzon and the Visayas.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Severe Tropical Storm Quiel now has maximum winds of 95 kilometers per hour (km/h) from 85 km/h before dawn, and gustiness of up to 115 km/h from 105 km/h.

PAGASA said Quiel could strengthen further into a typhoon within 48 hours. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Quiel is now 360 kilometers west northwest of Coron, Palawan, slowly moving east over the West Philippine Sea.

It remains unlikely to make landfall in the country and there are no areas under tropical cyclone wind signals.

But Quiel is still causing rain in some areas. Below is what to expect on Thursday until Friday morning, November 8.

Light to moderate rain with occasionally heavy rain

Light to moderate rain with intermittent heavy rain

PAGASA warned that flash floods and landslides are still possible in the affected areas.

Travel also remains risky, especially for small vessels, in the northern and western seaboards of Luzon.

Based on Quiel's latest forecast track, it might leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) early Saturday, November 9.

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Quiel (Nakri) as of November 7, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Quiel (Nakri) as of November 7, 2019, 11 am.

Image from PAGASA

Quiel is the Philippines' 17th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 1st in November. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

Meanwhile, PAGASA continues to monitor Typhoon Halong outside PAR, at 3,030 kilometers east of extreme Northern Luzon.

Halong weakened further, and now has maximum winds of 175 km/h from 185 km/h before dawn, and gustiness of up to 215 km/h from 230 km/h.

It is still not expected to enter PAR.

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 for the last two months of 2019:

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