MANILA, Philippines – The tropical depression outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) intensified into a tropical storm on Saturday morning, September 22. It has been given the international name Trami.
In a bulletin issued 11 am and released noon on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tropical Storm Trami is now 2,060 kilometers east of Central Luzon. It is moving west northwest at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The tropical storm has maximum winds of 75 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h. It could further intensify into a severe tropical storm and then a typhoon by Sunday morning, September 23.
Right now, Trami is still too far to have any effect on the Philippines. It is expected to enter PAR as a typhoon either on Sunday afternoon or evening, and will be given the local name Paeng. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
The potential Paeng is unlikely to make landfall, and it is not expected to significantly enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. But it might still affect extreme Northern Luzon, or Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands, on Friday, September 28.
PAGASA earlier noted that since the weather disturbance is still too far away, the forecast could still change. The public should continue monitoring updates.
Image from PAGASA
So far, the Philippines has had 15 tropical cyclones in 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.
Parts of Luzon are still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which left at least 95 people dead and caused destruction in provinces up north. (READ: Areas under state of calamity due to Typhoon Ompong)
Meanwhile, the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) continues to affect Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao on Saturday.
The ITCZ is a belt near the equator where the trade winds of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere meet, usually causing low pressure areas or thunderstorms. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
In a bulletin issued 4 am on Saturday, PAGASA warned there would be light to heavy rain in Mimaropa, the Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga due to the ITCZ. Residents of these areas should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides.
The rest of the country will only have localized thunderstorms on Saturday, mostly in the afternoon or evening. But flash floods and landslides are also possible if the thunderstorms bring heavy rain.