For the second time in two months, a low pressure area (LPA) predicted to have little chance of gaining strength turned into a tropical depression as it swung across Northern Mindanao Thursday.
“Auring,” the first weather disturbance to enter the country in 2013, made landfall in Davao Oriental at midnight as an LPA but it intensified into a depression by 8 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said. It was packing winds of 55 kilometers per hour and was moving at 28 kph, Pagasa said.
Public Storm Signal No. 1 was hoisted over Palawan, the southern part of Negros, Siquijor Island, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.
Pagasa forecaster Jori Loiz said Auring was moving faster than “Quinta,” another LPA that turned into a storm last month. He said there was a small chance for the depression to strengthen into a tropical storm.
Auring was expected to bring moderate to heavy rainfall, at a rate of 5-15 millimeters per hour, within its 250 km diameter before leaving the country tonight.
On Wednesday, forecasters said Auring had only a small chance of turning into a tropical cyclone. But like Quinta, it later gained strength.
Pagasa alerted residents in low-lying and mountainous areas for possible flash floods and landslides.
Fishing boats and other small seacraft were advised not to venture out into Luzon’s eastern, northern and western seaboards due to the northeast monsoon and over the western seaboard of Visayas and Mindanao due to Auring.
Loiz said Pagasa was observing another band of clouds east of Mindanao, but it was not yet clear if it would become a LPA. The second storm of 2013 will be named “Bising,” he said.