The Low-Pressure Area (LPA) east of Catanduanes has developed into a tropical depression, the state weather bureau reported on Monday, October 19.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has given the local name Pepito, as the Philippines’ 16th tropical cyclone for 2020. It is also the 3rd tropical cyclone for October.
PAGASA said in a bulletin issued 5 AM that Pepito is located 820 kilometres east of Virac, Catanduanes.
The tropical depression is moving west-northwest at 20 kilometres per hour (km/h). It will then turn more westward tomorrow (October 20) towards the Northern Luzon-Central Luzon area.
“On the forecast track, the tropical cyclone is forecast to make landfall over the eastern coast of Northern Luzon-Central Luzon area tomorrow evening or Wednesday early morning. It may emerge of the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday afternoon or evening,” PAGASA added.
Pepito currently has maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.
“It will likely remain a tropical depression over the next 36 hours and may make landfall as a tropical depression or a weak tropical storm,” PAGASA said.
But once it is already over the West Philippine Sea, it may reach severe tropical storm category by Friday, October 23, added the state weather bureau.
For Monday, PAGASA gave the rainfall forecast below.
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
- Eastern Visayas
- Zamboanga Peninsula
- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
- Dinagat Islands
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur
- Davao Oriental
- Davao Occidental
- Sultan Kudarat
- South Cotabato
PAGASA warned that floods and landslides could occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall.
There are no tropical cyclone wind signals raised yet since Pepito is still far from land. But PAGASA said the northeasterly surface wind flow partly enhanced by the tropical depression might bring “strong-force to near gale-force winds with occasional gusts” to these areas:
- Babuyan Islands
- Coastal and mountainous areas of the northern part of Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar
The northeasterly surface wind flow also prompted the issuance of a gale warning for the seaboards of the following provinces:
- Ilocos Norte
- Ilocos Sur
Travel is risky as seas are rough to very rough, with waves 2.8 to 4.5 meters high.
There will also be moderate to rough seas due to Pepito and the northeasterly surface wind flow in the following areas:
- Eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Bicol
- Seaboards of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar
PAGASA advised small vessels to take precautionary measures as waves could reach 1.5 to 3 meters high.
Based on its latest forecast track, Pepito could leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by early Friday.
Last October 2, the state weather bureau warned Filipinos to expect more rain in the coming months due to the onset of La Niña.