By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The low pressure area (LPA) east of Aurora province and inside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) has intensified into a tropical depression and has been given the local name “Perla.”
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA’s grew into a tropical cyclone around 8 a.m. Wednesday. Perla is the 16th cyclone this year and first this month.
As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, PAGASA estimated the location of Perla at 990 kilometers (km) east-northeast of Casiguran, Aurora or 1,005 km east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.
It has maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 55 kph, moving west-northwest at 25 kph.
No storm alert was in effect over any part of the country but Perla could bring rains to Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands and Apayao beginning Friday night or Saturday morning.
PAGASA weather specialist Loriedin dela Cruz said Perla could be weakened while moving towards extreme Northern Luzon by the cold northeasterly surface wind flow.
By Thursday, Perla is expected to be 830 km east of Aparri, Cagayan, and by Friday 560 km east of Calayan, Cagayan.
The weather bureau warned that sea travel is risky, especially for small vessels, in the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon because of potentially rough seas.
Palawan and Mindanao may experience cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms due to the intertropical convergence zone.
Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated showers.
The public is advised to stay alert as severe thunderstorm activity could cause flash floods in low-lying areas or landslides in mountainous regions.