Tropical Storm Falcon makes landfall in Cagayan

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Falcon (Danas) made landfall in Gattaran, Cagayan, at 12:30 am on Wednesday, July 17, and is now heading toward the Babuyan Group of Islands.

In a bulletin issued 5 am on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Falcon is already over the coastal waters of Aparri, Cagayan, en route to the direction of Babuyan.

It slightly accelerated, now moving west northwest at 35 kilometers per hour (km/h) from 30 km/h in the wee hours of Wednesday. This is fast for a tropical cyclone.

Falcon continues to have maximum winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Tropical cyclone wind signals remain raised in parts of Luzon.

Signal No. 2:

Signal No. 1:

Falcon also continues to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, which is triggering rain as well.

Below is the latest on the expected rainfall:

Wednesday, July 17

Thursday, July 18

Residents of those areas must stay on alert for possible flash floods and landslides, especially in high-risk zones.

Classes have been suspended in some areas for Wednesday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Wednesday, July 17, 2019)

Sea travel also remains risky in the seaboards of areas under Signal Nos. 1 and 2, and in the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, the seaboard of Southern Luzon, and the eastern and western seaboards of the Visayas.

Falcon is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday, July 19.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Falcon (Danas) as of July 17, 2019, 5 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Falcon (Danas) as of July 17, 2019, 5 am.

Image from PAGASA

Falcon is the Philippines' 6th tropical cyclone for 2019. The first 5 were all tropical depressions. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

The Philippines 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 July to December:

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