LPA east of Mindanao may become this year’s first cyclone by Friday

Gaea Katreena Cabico – Philstar.com

May 23, 2024 | 1:06pm

Satellite image from PAGASA as of 12:40 p.m., May 23, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — PAGASA may raise tropical cyclone wind signals over Bicol and Eastern Visayas if the low pressure area (LPA) east of the Philippines strengthens into a tropical depression by Friday.

The LPA, last spotted 870 kilometers east of southeastern Mindanao, will intensify into a tropical depression within 24 hours, PAGASA weather specialist Ana Clauren-Jorda said in a briefing on Thursday.

Once it becomes a tropical depression, it will be named Aghon, making it the country’s first cyclone of 2024.

The weather bureau said that the weather disturbance is forecast to move generally northwest until Saturday, then shift northeast by Sunday.

It is expected to stay mostly offshore, near Bicol region and Eastern Visayas. PAGASA said it will be closest to these areas on Saturday.

“The possibility of the weather disturbance approaching the area of Eastern Visayas and Bicol is not ruled out. Therefore, the possibility of landfall in the mentioned areas is not ruled out,” Clauren-Jorda said in Filipino.

The potential Aghon is likely to intensify over the Philippine Sea, and may become a tropical storm by Sunday. As it moves away from the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Tuesday, the cyclone will strengthen further and may reach severe tropical storm status.

PAGASA said the expected track may still change due to broad circulation of the weather disturbance, and the uncertainty of track remains high for the first 48 hours.

What to expect

PAGASA said light to moderate with at times heavy rain is possible over Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Islands today.

By Friday, moderate to heavy rain may affect Eastern Samar and Northern Samar, while light to moderate rain may be experienced over Bicol region, the rest of Caraga and the rest of Eastern Visayas.

The cyclone may bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rain over Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Northern Mindanao, and light to moderate rain over Quezon province, including Polillo Islands, rest of Bicol region and rest of Eastern Visayas.

“[Aghon] could increase water levels, particularly in some dams where levels continue to drop. However, we also caution our fellow citizens because intense rains are expected in the coming days,” said Marcelino Villafuerte, PAGASA deputy administrator for research and development.

PAGASA previously said the country may see up to two tropical cyclones this month as hot weather continues to affect the country.

SOURCE: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2024/05/23/2357319/lpa-east-mindanao-may-become-years-first-cyclone-friday

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