Expect ‘Nina’ for Noche Buena, Pagasa warns
The low pressure area (LPA) expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday might develop into a tropical storm over the weekend.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the LPA, which as of Wednesday morning was located 1,800 kilometers east of Mindanao, is expected to enter the Philippines tonight as Tropical Depression “Nina,” the 14th tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines in 2016.
Nina is expected to intensify into a tropical storm and make landall over the Bicol region and Samar area, and directly affect areas from Quezon province to eastern Visayas, on Dec. 24 or 25, said forecaster Chris Perez.
“There’s a big chance it will cross [land] and a lot of areas will be affected,” Perez said. He warned of moderate to heavy rains, which may trigger flash floods and landslides along and around Nina’s path.
Pagasa administrator Vicente Malano said that from 1948 to 2015, seven tropical cyclones hit the Philippines between Dec. 21 and 31.
“Out of seven, six made landfall, and at this time of year, [it usually hits] Visayas or central Philippines, including the southern part of Luzon,” Malano said.
Nina, at its strongest, is expected to develop only into a severe tropical storm, but Malano warned the public, who may be caught up in a “festive mood,” to remain alert, recalling Tropical Storm “Seniang” in December 2014, which caused 66 deaths.
In Metro Manila, “we are expecting to have a wet Christmas,” Malano said. “This weather disturbance Nina will be having noche buena with us.”
The storm is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.