Typhoon Kong-rey has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and adopted its local name of Queenie.
Queenie today (Monday, October 1) became the Philippines’ 17th tropical cyclone so far this year. The country usually gets an average of 20 per year.
At a press briefing at 5pm today, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Queenie had intensified as it entered PAR.
The typhoon now has maximum winds of 160kph, up from the 145kph. Its gustiness has also increased from 180kph to 195kph.
Queenie is located 1,385km east of Casiguran, Aurora, moving northwest at 15kph.
The typhoon is not expected to make landfall in the country, and will instead head towards the southern part of Japan.
There are also no parts of the Philippines currently under tropical cyclone warning signals.
However, PAGASA cautioned that Queenie’s trough or extension could bring rain to parts of Luzon.
PAGASA said that Queenie will be nearest Calayan and the Babuyan Group of Islands from Wednesday to Thursday this week.
The typhoon’s trough may trigger light to moderate rain in Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Aurora until Thursday. Benguet was the site of deadly landslides caused by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) earlier this month.
Queenie to bring storms
PAGASA Weather Division Chief Esperanza Cayanan said: “We’re expecting thunderstorms, so it’ll still be dangerous if the rainfall becomes heavy. The people still need to take precautions because areas affected by past tropical cyclones like Ompong are still saturated.”
A gale warning was issued at 5pm today for Batanes, Calayan, the Babuyan Group of Islands, the northern coast of Cagayan and the northern coast of Ilocos Norte.
Seas off those areas are rough to very rough, with waves as high as 4.5 metres.
PAGASA has advised fishermen and others with small vessels not to set sail in areas covered by the gale warning. Larger vessels should also remain alert for big waves.
Queenie is expected to exit the PAR on Friday.
PAGASA also explained that the southwest monsoon is weakening, as the Philippines will shift to the period of the northeast monsoon this month.
The southwest monsoon is characterised by warm, moist winds which cause rain in the western part of the country, while the northeast monsoon brings cold winds and rain to the eastern side.
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