Pepito now a severe tropical storm as it moves further away from Luzon | Inquirer News

Pepito now a severe tropical storm as it moves further away from Luzon

/ 06:17 PM October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Severe Tropical Storm Pepito intensified again as it continues to move over the West Philippine Sea, away from the country, state meteorologists said on Wednesday.

The latest severe weather bulletin from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) showed that Pepito now packs maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 115 km/h.

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It may still intensify in the coming days as it approaches China and Vietnam’s southern tip.

It was last seen 295 kilometers west of Dagupan City and is currently moving west, albeit at a slower pace of 15 km/h — which means that it may leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Thursday morning or afternoon.

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All previous Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals have been dropped.

Despite Pepito moving away, it still affects the country’s weather as it pulls the northeasterly surface wind flow, which brings strong winds over northern Luzon, while its trough or extension brings cloud bands across other parts of Luzon.

While the tropical depression outside PAR is expected to weaken in the coming hours, Pagasa monitors another low-pressure area (LPA), 1,935 kilometers east of Mindanao.

The state weather bureau said that while the LPA’s chances to develop into a tropical depression in the next 24 to 48 hours are low, what would happen after the two days is still uncertain.

“Pero beyond that po, mataas ang uncertainty, hindi pagkakasundo ng mga weather models kung ito po ay magdedevelop bilang isang bagyo,” weather specialist Ariel Rojas said.

(Beyond the initial forecast, there is high uncertainty as weather models give contradicting predictions on whether it will develop into a storm.)

“Pero the moment na meron tayong developments ukol sa LPA na ating mino-monitor, maglalabas po agad ng advisory ang Pagasa para makapaghanda ang ating publiko na posibleng maapektuhan ng masamang panahong ito,” he added.

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(But when we obtain developments about the LPA that we are monitoring, Pagasa would immediately release advisories to allow the public who may be affected by the weather disturbance to prepare.)

But for Thursday, a gradual improvement of weather may be seen in Metro Manila, with temperatures going back to the 24 to 32 degrees Celsius range, 25 to 31 degrees in Legazpi and Tuguegarao, and 25 to 30 degrees in Palawan.

However, Pagasa noted that occasional thunderstorms may still cause rains, especially by afternoon and night.

The same conditions apply to Visayas and Mindanao, with Iloilo, Cebu, and Tacloban seeing temperatures of 26 to 32 degrees Celsius, 24 to 32 degrees for Zamboanga, and 26 to 33 degrees in Davao.

A gale warning remains raised over the whole western and northern seaboards of Luzon, including Palawan, Babuyan Islands, plus the eastern coasts of Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon province, and Nueva Vizcaya.  Due to this, fisherfolk and seafarers using small boats are not allowed to set sail. [ac]

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TAGS: #PepitoPH, China, Dagupan City, Low pressure area, LPA, PAR, Pepito, Philippine area of responsibility, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Space Administration (PAGASA), Philippine news updates, Severe Tropical Storm Pepito, Vietnam, West Philippine Sea
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