By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
A tropical storm with international name “Saola” off the Pacific Ocean is about to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR), according to the weather bureau on Wednesday.
Before Wednesday noon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the location of storm Saola at 1,200 kilometers (km) east of Virac, Catanduanes, which is still outside the PAR.
It is currently moving northwest at 21 kph.
Once inside the country, the storm will be named “Quedan.”
It continues to gain strength while at sea and is now packing maximum sustained winds of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 95 kph.
PAGASA said the advanced clouds of the storm will bring cloudy skies, scattered rains and thunderstorms over Eastern Visayas.
Meanwhile, the intertropical convergence zone will continue to affect Palawan and Mindanao, bringing scattered rains and thunderstorms over these areas.
PAGASA warned of possible strong winds, lightning and scattered light to moderate with occasional heavy rains which may cause flooding or landslides due to thunderstorms.
The rest of Visayas will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies and isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms.
PAGASA said Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will experience cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains due to northeasterly winds.
By Thursday morning, Saola will be 1,085 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, and by Friday morning at 890 km east of Basco, Batanes.
By Saturday morning, the storm is expected at 900 km east-northeast of Basco, Batanes. Saola is not expected to make landfall and will begin to move away from the country.
PAGASA said that by Sunday morning, the cyclone will be outside the PAR.