Tropical Storm Falcon speeds up as it boosts monsoon
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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Falcon (Danas) slightly accelerated late Wednesday evening, July 17, while maintaining its strength and still enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.
In a briefing past 11 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Falcon is already 310 kilometers east northeast of Calayan, Cagayan, or 220 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes.
The tropical storm is now moving north northeast at 30 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 20 km/h.
It continues to have maximum winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.
Only two areas remain under tropical cyclone wind signals.
Signal No. 2:
Signal No. 1:
- northeastern part of Cagayan including Babuyan Group of Islands
PAGASA warned of stormy weather in Batanes, while rain and gusty winds are expected in the northeastern part of Cagayan.
Falcon had made landfall in Gattaran, Cagayan, at 12:30 am on Wednesday. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Aside from Falcon, PAGASA continues to monitor a low pressure area (LPA) which is also enhancing the southwest monsoon. This LPA is now 190 kilometers west southwest of Sinait, Ilocos Sur, located over the West Philippine Sea.
PAGASA earlier said that the LPA only has a slim chance of developing into a tropical depression.
But due to Falcon and the enhanced southwest monsoon, more rain is expected even in areas without tropical cyclone wind signals.
Thursday, July 18
- Moderate to heavy rain
- Occidental Mindoro
- northern part of Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo islands
- Light to heavy rain
- rest of Luzon
Residents of those areas affected by Falcon and the enhanced southwest monsoon must stay on alert for possible flash floods and landslides.
Sea travel also remains risky in the seaboards of areas under Signal Nos. 1 and 2, the seaboards of Luzon, and the western and eastern seaboards of the Visayas.
Falcon is now expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday evening, July 18, a day earlier than what was estimated in the previous forecast.
Falcon is the Philippines' 6th tropical cyclone for 2019. The first 5 were all tropical depressions. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)
The Philippines gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones are expected.
Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones from July to December:
- July - 2 or 3
- August - 2 to 4
- September - 2 to 4
- October - 2 or 3
- November - 1 or 2
- December - 0 or 1
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com