MANILA -- The tropical depression outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) has intensified into tropical storm and has been named “Nona” as it enters PAR on Saturday morning, the state weather bureau said.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) weather forecaster Glaiza Escullar said "Nona", with international name "Melor", entered PAR at 4 a.m. Saturday, the 14th tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.
Escullar explained the tropical storm should have been "Nonoy" but was later on changed to "Nona" due to its landfalling characteristics and in respect to President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's name.
She said that as of 4 a.m. Saturday, the center of Tropical Storm Nona was estimated at 1,110 kilometers east of Maasin, Southern Leyte packed with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 25 kph.
She said so far the tropical storm has no direct effect in the country. But starting Sunday night, it will affect the eastern side of Luzon and Visayas as it will raise a public storm warning signals (PSWS).
She also noted the tropical storm is expected to intensify into typhoon category.
With maintaining its speed and movement, tropical storm is expected to make a landfall in Bicol region by Tuesday night, said Escullar.
Meanwhile, Escullar said that Northeast Monsoon will affect Northern Luzon.
The northeast monsoon or "hanging amihan" is the cold wind from China and Siberia that blows into the country from late October until mid-February. It is usually associated with the Christmas season.
Escullar said fair weather is seen in most parts of the country on Saturday except for isolated rainshowers.
For Saturday forecast, the presence of northeast monsoon will bring cloudy skies with light rains expected over the regions of Ilocos, Cordillera and Cagayan Valley, while partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains will be experienced over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.
Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms will prevail over the rest of the country.
In its advisory, PAGASA said moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Northern Luzon and eastern section of Luzon and Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough. Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast to north with slight to moderate seas.
The state weather bureau said no gale warning has been issued as fisherfolks is safe to venture into the seas. (PNA)