'Igme' nears typhoon status-A A +A
Monday, August 20, 2012
MANILA (Updated 4:31 p.m.) -- The ninth storm to visit the Philippines this year turned into a severe tropical storm on Monday as "Igme" (international name: Tembin) enhanced the southwest monsoon, which will bring rains to several Luzon provinces.
In its 11 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Igme carries center winds of up to 105 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 135 kph.
A typhoon can wreak havoc to agriculture, uproot large trees, and topple power and communication lines because of maximum sustained winds estimated at 118 kph and above.
At 12 noon Monday, Igme was estimated at 280 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan, moving at a slow pace of 7 kph.
Earlier, Pagasa Administrator Nathaniel Servando said Igme will not directly hit any part of the country since its westerly movement brings it closer to Taiwan by Wednesday evening or Thursday.
But the enhanced southwest monsoon will bring light to moderate rains over Luzon, particularly in Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan and Mindoro.
Storm warning signal number 1 remains hoisted over Isabela and Cagayan, where residents are set to experience winds of 45 to 60 kilometers per hour (kph) within the next 36 hours.
Pagasa said Igme carries about five to 15 millimeters (mm) per hour (moderate-heavy) of rainfall within its 500 kilometer diameter coverage, warning possible flashfloods and landslides in low lying and mountainous areas of Northern Luzon.
Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are also advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon due to the tropical storm and the surge of southwest monsoon.
Igme is expected to be 260 kilometers east northeast of Basco, Batanes by Tuesday morning; 230 kilometers northeast of the same town by Wednesday morning; and 310 kilometers north northeast of Basco or over Taiwan by Thursday morning.
Elsewhere in the western Pacific, the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center and website accuweather.com spotted two potential tropical cyclones.
Meteorologist Evan Duffrey said a low pressure area west of Guam was beginning to show some characteristics of a tropical cyclone, and is expected to become a tropical storm over the next 24 hours.
The accuweather.com forecaster said the system is expected to take a generally westerly path, but until the storm has developed, modeling will be difficult.
In Marianas, Duffrey said the weather disturbance will need to be watched over the next couple of days for potential development. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)