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Friday, December 5, 2014

Hagupit Intensifies Into Tropical Storm

The tropical depression outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) has intensified into a tropical storm with international name “Hagupit,” the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Tuesday.
As of yesterday morning, “Hagupit” was located at 2,405 kilometers (km) east of Mindanao, PAGASA senior weather forecaster Rene Paciente said.
“Hagupit” is packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 90 kph. It is moving west-northwest and is fast approaching the country at 35 kph. Should it maintain its current speed and track, the storm will be inside the PAR by Thursday, Paciente said.
Once it enters the PAR, the storm will be called “Ruby,” the 18th tropical cyclone to enter PAR this year, and the first this month.
“It will move slower while approaching the country and may further intensify into a typhoon while still at sea,” he noted. The tropical cyclone may reach maximum winds of 120 to 140 kph as it continues to draw strength from the ocean, he said.
“PAGASA continues to monitor this storm. As of the moment, we are considering two possibilities. Either the storm will continue to move west and make landfall over Eastern Visayas-Bicol Region by Sunday, December 7, or recurve north toward southern Japan,” he explained.
By Friday, the eastern part of Visayas and northeastern Mindanao could start to experience rains and gustiness, Paciente said.
He also warned that the weather disturbance could possibly generate storm surges of up to 3 to 4 meters or 10 to 13 feet. 

Today, Wednesday, PAGASA said the northeast monsoon or amihan will prevail over Northern and Central Luzon.  Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte will have cloudy skies with light rains.
Meanwhile, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan will experience partly cloudy to at times cloudy skies with isolated light rains, the agency said.
Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms, it added.
How did the storm get a Filipino name – “Hagupit” – which means lash or flog?
“Hagupit” is one of the 10 international tropical cyclone names contributed by the Philippines as member of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Typhoon Committee.
Other names contributed by the Philippines are Maliksi (fast), Cimaron (Philippine wild ox), Danas (to experience or to feel), Hagibis (swift or fast), Molave (hardwood used in furniture), Lupit (cruel or viciousness), Malakas (strong or powerful), Talas (sharpness or acuteness), and Talim (sharp or cutting edge).
Each of the 14 states or territories that are members of the WMO submitted 10 names for a total of 140 tropical cyclone names. This was adopted by the Typhoon Committee members for use in the Western North Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.
Tropical cyclones reaching tropical storm strength are given their names by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in Tokyo, Japan from the list of international tropical cyclone names.
Once a tropical cyclone enters the Philippine area of responsibility, it is assigned its local name because it is easier for Filipinos to remember and heed the warnings.
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