Bagyong ‘Ambo’ first cyclone in Philippines in 2012; signal 1

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the depression, codenamed “Ambo,” is likely to stay until at least Tuesday, June 5.

“Papaakyat ito papuntang Batanes. Inaasahan nating (lalabas ito) by June 5, ‘pag di magbabago ng pagkilos at direksyon,” PAGASA forecaster Buddy Javier said in an interview on dzBB radio Friday.

He said “Ambo” will bring heavy rain of 10 to 15 mm per hour within its 400-km radius. This may mean five days of rain over the country, he said.

Javier also said “Ambo” may continue to gather strength as it is still at sea, but he said they do not see it intensifying in the next 24 hours.

“Ngayon nasa karagatan ‘yan, tiyak makakakuha ng lakas,” he said.

“(Pero) sa nakikita namin so far, siguro within 24 hours ‘di pa natin makikitang lalakas pa,” he added.

PAGASA’s 5 a.m. bulletin Friday said Catanduanes will have rains with gusty winds with moderate to rough seas.

The rest of the country will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms becoming cloudy with widespread rains over the rest of the eastern section of Southern Luzon and of Visayas. This may trigger flash floods and landslides.

Moderate to strong winds from the northeast to northwest will prevail over Northern Luzon, and coming from the southwest over the rest of the country.

The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough.

Moving northwest

In its 5 a.m. advisory, PAGASA said “Ambo” maintained its strength as it continued to move northwestward.

As of 4 a.m. Friday, it was estimated at 260 km northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar, packing maximum winds of 55 kph near the center and forecast to move northwest at 17 kph.

By Saturday morning it is expected to be 330 km north-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 320 km east of Casiguran, Aurora.

On Sunday morning it is expected to be 390 km east-northeast of Aparri, Cagayan. By Monday morning it is expected to be 530 km northeast of Basco, Batanes.

Catanduanes was placed under Storm Signal No. 1 while the storm warning signal over Samar provinces was lowered.

“Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under Signal # 1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides,” it said.

It also said the estimated rainfall amount is from 10 to 15 mm per hour (heavy) within the 400-km diameter of “Ambo.”

PAGASA also advised fishing boats and other small seacrafts not to venture out into the eastern seaboards of Luzon, Visayas and Northeastern Mindanao.

Rainy season now here

PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando said Thursday the weather patterns in the past few days signal the onset of the southwest monsoon season.

“The occurrence of an intermittent to continuous rains in Metro Manila and the western sections of Luzon and Visayas (areas under Type 1 climate) due to early morning and late afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms and the prevailing southwest wind flow, are weather patterns associated with the southwest monsoon,” he said.

“With these developments the onset of the rainy season in the country has been established,” he said.

Still, Servando said there may be breaks in the rain events that may last for several days to weeks due to the strengthening of the ridge of the North Pacific high pressure area. –KG, GMA News

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