Severe Tropical Storm Ramon gains more strength

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MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Ramon (Kalmaegi) intensified further early Monday evening, November 18, just hours away from its expected landfall in Cagayan.

In a bulletin issued 8 pm on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ramon now has maximum winds of 110 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 100 km/h and gustiness of up to 135 km/h from the previous 125 km/h.

The severe tropical storm is already 150 kilometers east northeast of Aparri, Cagayan. It is moving northwest at the same slow pace of 10 km/h.

Ramon is expected to make landfall in the northern part of Cagayan between Monday evening and Tuesday morning, November 19.

The following areas are still under tropical cyclone wind signals:

Signal No. 2 (winds of 61 km/h to 120 km/h)

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

Ramon will continue to bring rain to parts of Luzon, and along with it, the risk of flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Monday evening, November 18

Tuesday, November 19

At least two areas have suspended classes for Tuesday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Tuesday, November 19, 2019)

Travel also remains risky, especially for small vessels, in the seaboards of areas under Signal Nos. 1 and 2, the western seaboard of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon.

Ramon could leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday morning, November 21. By then, it would likely already be downgraded to a low pressure area (LPA).

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

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 18, 2019, 8 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 18, 2019, 8 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Meanwhile, the LPA outside PAR is now 1,285 kilometers east of Eastern Visayas. It is expected to enter within 24 hours and may develop into a tropical depression within 48 hours.

If it becomes a tropical depression and enters PAR, it would be given the local name Sarah. (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 for the last two months of 2019:

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