‘Betty’ maintains strength; some northern Luzon areas under signal #1

Satellite image from Pagasa
Satellite image from Pagasa

SUPER Typhoon Betty (Mawar) has maintained its strength as it moved west northwestward, placing some areas in northern Luzon under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 1 Saturday morning, May 27, 2023.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that as of 10 a.m., the center of Betty was located at 1,170 kilometers east of Central Luzon, with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (km/h), gusts of up to 240 km/h, and central pressure of 915 hPa.

Betty was moving west northwestward at 30 km/h.

Placed under TCWS 1 were the eastern portion of Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Lal-Lo, Gattaran, Baggao, Peñablanca, Santa Teresita, Buguey), including Babuyan and Camiguin Islands and the eastern portion of Isabela (Maconacon, Divilacan, Dinapigue, Palanan, San Mariano, Ilagan City, Tumauini, San Pablo, Cabagan) in Luzon.

Pagasa said that strong winds (strong breeze to near gale strength) will be experienced within these areas.

Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northern portions of mainland Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Apayao, meanwhile, will experience heavy rainfall from Monday morning to Tuesday morning.

In areas that will not be directly affected by the super typhoon, monsoon rains from the enhanced Southwest Monsoon are possible over the western sections of Mimaropa, Visayas, and Mindanao on Sunday, May 28, said Pagasa.

On Monday (May 29) and Tuesday (May 30), monsoon rains are likely over the western sections of Mimaropa and Western Visayas, and possible over the rest of these two regions, it added.

“Under these conditions, flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely, especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards as identified in hazard maps and in localities that experienced considerable amounts of rainfall for the past several days,” said Pagasa in its 11 a.m. weather bulletin.

The weather bureau also said that the enhanced Southwest Monsoon may bring strong breeze to near gale conditions with intermittent gusts beginning Sunday evening or early Monday over Visayas, the eastern portions of Central and Southern Luzon, and the northern and eastern portions of Mindanao.

In the next 24 hours, the eastern seaboards of Luzon and Visayas will experience moderate to rough (1.5 to 3.5 m) seas, which may become rough to very rough (2.5 to 5.0 m), while the northern seaboard of Luzon may experience moderate to rough seas (1.5 to 3.0 m) Saturday morning through afternoon and rough seas (2.5 to 4.0 m) beginning Saturday night.

Pagasa said that Betty was forecast to track generally west northwestward over the weekend.

On Monday, the tropical cyclone will turn northwestward and decelerate as it moves over the waters east of extreme northern Luzon. It may eventually become almost stationary between late Tuesday and early Wednesday when it will be closest to Batanes.

Betty was also forecast to remain as a super typhoon over the weekend.

“Although it will likely maintain its strength for the next 36-48 hours, short-term intensification is not ruled out especially in the next 12 to 24 hours. However, this tropical cyclone may begin weakening considerably on Monday or Tuesday during its slowdown period over the waters east of Batanes due to potential unfavorable conditions (e.g., effect of upwelling of cooler ocean water and dry air intrusion),” Pagasa said. (LMY)


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