Tropical Depression Sarah joins Typhoon Ramon inside PAR

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MANILA, Philippines – There are now two tropical cyclones inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR): Typhoon Ramon (Kalmaegi) and Tropical Depression Sarah.

The low pressure area (LPA) inside PAR developed into Tropical Depression Sarah at 2 pm on Tuesday, November 19.

Sarah is the Philippines' 19th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 3rd for November. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

In a briefing at 5 pm on Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Sarah is 710 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.

The tropical depression is moving northwest at a relatively fast 35 kilometers per hour (km/h).

At the moment, it has maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. It could intensify into a tropical storm within 24 hours, and possibly into a severe tropical storm afterwards.

There are no tropical cyclone wind signals due to Sarah, so far. But it is expected to bring rain starting Wednesday, November 20. Here is PAGASA's rainfall outlook for the tropical depression:

Wednesday afternoon, November 20

Thursday, November 21

Landfall in the province of Cagayan is possible on Thursday, November 21.

If Sarah maintains its speed and direction, it might leave PAR on Friday, November 22.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Sarah as of November 19, 2019, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Sarah as of November 19, 2019, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Meanwhile, Ramon is still 120 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan. It remains almost stationary, hardly moving for most of Tuesday.

 

The typhoon maintained its strength, with maximum winds of 120 km/h and gustiness of up to 165 km/h.

Since Ramon is barely moving, its landfall keeps getting pushed back. It is now expected to make landfall in the Babuyan Group of Islands between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

It is forecast to gradually weaken after hitting land, "due to the land interaction and the northeast monsoon," said PAGASA.

Tropical cyclone wind signals remain raised over the following areas:

Signal No. 3 (winds of 121 km/h to 170 km/h)

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

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

With Ramon lingering, rain will also persist, which may cause flash floods and landslides. Below is PAGASA's latest rainfall outlook for the typhoon. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Tuesday evening, November 19

Wednesday, November 20

PAGASA also warned there could be storm surges up to 2 meters high in La Union and Pangasinan.

Travel remains risky too, especially for small vessels, in the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals as well as the western seaboard of Zambales and Bataan.

Ramon could leave PAR on Thursday. By then, it would have likely weakened into an LPA.

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

Forecast track of Typhoon Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 19, 2019, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Ramon (Kalmaegi) as of November 19, 2019, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones had been projected.

With Sarah's arrival, the estimate has been exceeded for the year and also for the month of November.

These had been the projections for the last two months of 2019:

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