Tropical Depression Obet passes near Batanes; no landing

Light to heavy rains from Tropical Depression Obet may continue over Batanes and Babuyan Islands through Saturday morning October 22.

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Obet passed very close to Batanes on Friday evening, October 21, but did not make landfall in the province.

By Friday evening, Obet was already over the coastal waters of Basco, Batanes, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a briefing past 11 p.m.

It is moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h) and is expected to maintain that direction until it leaves the Philippines Area of ​​Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday morning October 22.

The tropical depression weakened slightly on Friday evening, with its maximum sustained winds dropping from 55 km/h to 45 km/h. Its gusts increased from 70 km/h to 55 km/h.

But PAGASA said Obet is expected to gradually intensify and become a tropical storm Saturday morning, perhaps when it is already outside the PAR.

PAGASA said light to moderate rain, with heavy rain at times, could continue on Batanes and Babuyan islands through Saturday morning. Flooding and landslides could still occur.

Batanes and Babuyan Islands also remain under Signal No. 1 as of 11 p.m. Friday. These areas experience strong Obet winds.

Also due to the northeast monsoon or amihan suspended and Obet, PAGASA issued a new gale advisory at 5 p.m. Friday. Rough to very rough seas will persist on these facades:

  • northern and eastern coasts of northern Luzon (Batanes, Cagayan, including the Babuyan Islands, northern coast of Ilocos Norte) – waves 3.4 to 5.5 meters high
  • west coast of northern Luzon (Ilocos Sur, west coast of Ilocos Norte) – waves 2.8 to 4.5 meters high
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PAGASA advised fishing boats and other small vessels not to sail, and larger vessels to be careful of large waves.

Moderate to rough seas, with waves 1.5 to 3 meters high, are also expected on the coasts of central Luzon and on the east coast of southern Luzon. This can be risky for small vessels.

Obet is the country’s 15th tropical cyclone for 2022 and the third for October.

PAGASA expects 5-9 tropical cyclones to enter or develop inside the PAR from October 2022 to March 2023. By month, here are the weather bureau estimates:

  • October 2022 – 2 to 4
  • November 2022 – 2 or 3
  • December 2022 – 1 or 2
  • January 2023 – 0 or 1
  • February 2023 – 0 or 1
  • March 2023 – 0 or 1

PAGASA weather specialist Benison Estareja told Friday night’s briefing that a low pressure area (LPA) has formed over the Pacific Ocean outside the PAR.

The LPA was last spotted over 1,800 kilometers east of Mindanao, embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

Estareja said the LPA could enter the PAR within 48 hours and would likely develop into a tropical depression next week. More updates are expected in the coming days. –