Signal No. 1 in 7 areas as Ramon becomes tropical storm

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MANILA, Philippines – Ramon intensified from a tropical depression into a tropical storm at 8 am on Wednesday, November 13. It has been given the international name Kalmaegi.

In a briefing past 11 am on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tropical Storm Ramon (Kalmaegi) now has maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h from the previous 70 km/h.

The tropical storm is already 385 kilometers east northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar, or 450 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar.

It also slightly accelerated again, now moving west northwest at 20 km/h from the previous 15 km/h.

More areas have been placed under Signal No. 1, totaling 7:

Signal No. 1 means winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h are expected. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Ramon is also bringing rain to the region of Bicol in Luzon and the island of Samar in the Visayas on Wednesday, and then to several other areas in Luzon – particularly those in Cagayan Valley – by Thursday, November 14. Below is the latest on the expected rainfall.

Wednesday, November 13

Thursday, November 14

PAGASA warned that flash floods and landslides are possible. Areas which experienced heavy rain last week, particularly those in Northern Luzon, should be extra cautious.

"'Yun pong mga lugar na basa pa 'yung kanilang kabundukan, matataas pa 'yung mga tubig sa kanilang ilog at sa kanilang mga reservoir, ay kailangan po talagang tutukan. Dahil 'yung ulan na nakikita po natin, hindi man ito tuloy-tuloy na malakas, pero may pagbugso.... Maaring umuulan pala doon sa bundok at ito ay magdudulot ng pagbaha doon sa kapatagan...so kailangan po natin magbantay, maging handa," said Esperanza Cayanan, weather services chief of PAGASA's Weather Division.

(Areas with saturated mountains, with rivers and reservoirs that still have high water levels, should be closely monitored. While the rain we're forecasting won't be continuously heavy, there will be periods of heavy rain.... There may be heavy rain over the mountains which could cause flooding in low-lying areas...so we should monitor, be prepared.)

Travel is also risky, especially for small vessels, in the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, as well as the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon.

Based on Ramon's latest forecast track, it could make landfall in the Isabela-Aurora area on Saturday, November 16. This may still change depending on the tropical storm's direction and speed.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 13, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 13, 2019, 11 am.

Image from PAGASA

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