Typhoon “Rolly” (international name “Goni”) continues to intensify as it moves toward the Luzon landmass on Friday, before making its first landfall over the Aurora-Quezon area between Sunday night and Monday morning, the state weather bureau said.
In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said “Rolly” was last spotted 1,100 kilometers east of Central Luzon and moving westward at 15 kilometers per hour (kph).
“Rolly” rapidly intensified into a typhoon shortly after entering the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) as a severe tropical storm on Thursday afternoon and now has maximum sustained winds of 165 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 205 kph, it added.
PAGASA weather specialist Loriedin Dela Cruz said the typhoon is expected to further intensify in the coming days before hitting land as it is still moving off the Philippine waters where it has a “favorable environment condition” to gain more strength.
Based on the bureau’s forecast, “Rolly” will move towards the coast of Bicol Region, then to the eastern coast of Aurora-Quezon area where it is expected to make landfall between Sunday evening or early Monday at a peak intensity of 175 to 185 kph.
While still far from the country’s landmass, Dela Cruz said the typhoon will likely bring heavy to intense rains over Northern and Central Luzon and the Bicol Region beginning Saturday or Sunday.
The trough or extension of the typhoon will bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol Region, Visayas, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, and Zamboanga Peninsula on Friday.
Storm warning signal expected starting Friday night
No areas have been placed yet under a tropical cyclone wind signal as of Friday morning.
However, with the expected strong breeze to near-gale conditions due to “Rolly,” a storm warning signal could be raised over several provinces in the Bicol Region on Friday night.
With the continued intensification of the typhoon, Dela Cruz said that the highest possible storm warning signal that will be raised throughout the passage of the typhoon is signal number 3 or 4.
This means “destructive to very destructive typhoon-force winds” in areas directly in the typhoon’s path.
“Rolly” will likely begin to weaken once it hits the Sierra Madre, the country’s longest mountain range, which runs from the north to south of the Luzon island which is in the crosshairs of the storm.
“Rolly” is the country’s 18th tropical cyclone for this year and the fifth for October alone.
The Philippines gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but more rains are expected in the coming months according to PAGASA due to the onset of La Niña.
Tropical Storm ‘Atsani’
The state weather agency is also monitoring a tropical storm outside PAR which was given the international name “Atsani” by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The center of Atsani was found 2,320 kilometers east of Mindanao as of Friday morning and packs maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gusts of up to 8- kph.
As the storm is moving northwest at 20 kph, PAGASA said it is expected to enter the PAR by Sunday or Monday and will be locally named “Siony.”
However, Atsani is less likely to bring severe weather over any locality of the country over the next three days, PAGASA added.