Tropical storm “Pepito” (international name: “Saudel”) has crossed the rugged terrain of Northern Luzon and was already over Lingayen Gulf on Wednesday morning.

121696512 349339709721526 1375478691742829538 n 1 1024x740 - ‘Pepito’ crosses Northern Luzon, may intensify into severe tropical storm

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) observed tropical storm “Pepito” at 40 kilometers (km) north-northwest of Dagupan City in Pangasinan around 4 a.m. on Wednesday.

It is seen to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Thursday.

“Pepito” may also gradually intensify into a severe tropical storm category by Thursday afternoon or evening as it crosses over the West Philippine Sea.

As of Wednesday, it has maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

Tropical cyclone warnings have been lifted or lowered in some areas but Signal No. 2 remains hoisted over Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet. Tarlac, and the northern portion of Zambales — Iba, Palauig, Masinloc, Candelaria, Santa Cruz, Botolan, Cabangan.

Signal No. 1 was still up over Ilocos Norte, Kalinga, Abra, Ifugao, Mountain Province, southern portion of Isabela (Palanan, San Mariano, Benito Soliven, Naguilian, Gamu, Burgos, San Manuel, Aurora, Cabatuan, Luna, Reina Mercedes, Cauayan City, Dinapigue, San Guillermo, Angadanan, Alicia, San Mateo, Ramon, San Isidro, Echague, San Agustin, Jones, Santiago City, Cordon), Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga, the rest of Zambales, and Bataan.

Moderate to heavy rains will prevail over Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, La Union, Apayao, Benguet, Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro, and Calamian Islands.

Light to moderate, with at times heavy rains, will also affect Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

PAGASA advised the public to stay vigilant for possible flooding or rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.

Gale-force winds and strong to near gale winds will be felt in areas under Signal Nos. 2 and 1, as well as in the rest of northern Luzon, especially in coastal and mountainous areas due to the northeasterly surface wind flow enhanced by “Pepito.”

Rough to very rough seas will prevail over areas where tropical cyclone and gale warnings are in effect as waves may reach 2.8 to 5.5 meters.

In particular, such conditions are expected over the entire seaboards of Northern and Central Luzon, seaboard of northern Quezon including Pollilo Islands, and the western seaboards of Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Lubang Islands, Palawan, and Calamian and Kalayaan Islands.

Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for those using small boats, PAGASA warned.

Moderate to rough seas with waves reaching up to 1.5 to 3 meters will also prevail over the eastern seaboards of southern Quezon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and Davao Region.

PAGASA advised those using small boats to take necessary precautionary measures while venturing out to sea, while inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions.

Meanwhile, the tropical depression monitored by PAGASA at 1,880 km east-northeast of extreme Northern Luzon is still unlikely to enter the PAR and is not expected to affect the country’s weather condition.

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