Tropical cyclone wind signal number 2 is now raised over majority of Bicol region, while more areas are under signal number 1 including Metro Manila, with the further intensification of tropical storm “Ulysses” (international name “Vamco”) on Tuesday afternoon.

PAGASA12 1024x740 - Signal no. 2 over Bicol as tropical storm Ulysses nears
(PAGASA / MANILA BULLETIN)

In its 5 p.m. severe weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) last observed Ulysses at 375 kilometers (km) east-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 500 km east of Daet, Camarines Norte, packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kph.

Signal number 2 was raised over Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Sur, and eastern portion of Camarines Norte (San Vicente, Talisay, Daet, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Basud, Mercedes).

Signal number 1 was also hoisted over Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, eastern portion of Pangasinan (San Nicolas, Natividad, San Quintin, Umingan, Balungao, Rosales, Santa Maria, Tayug, Asingan, San Manuel), Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, central and southern portions of Zambales (Masinloc, Palauig, Iba, Botolan, Cabangan, San Felipe, San Narciso, San Marcelino, Castillejos, Subic, Olongapo City, San Antonio), Bataan, Quezon including Polillo Islands, Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, the rest of Camarines Norte, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, Marinduque, Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, Northern Samar, northern portion of Samar (Santo Nino, Almagro, Tagapul-An, Tarangnan, Calbayog City, Santa Margarita, Gandara, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, San Jose de Buan, Matuguinao), and northern portion of Eastern Samar (Maslog, Dolores, Oras, San Policarpo, Arteche, Jipapad).

PAGASA said areas under signal number 2 may experience damaging gale- to storm-force winds, while those under signal number 1 may have strong breeze to near gale conditions during the passage of the storm. 

Ulysses is still anticipated to reach the severe tropical storm status on Tuesday night, and typhoon status by Wednesday afternoon or evening.

It will likely reach its peak intensity of 130 kph to 155 kph between Wednesday afternoon or evening and make landfall at or near this peak intensity.

If it maintains its typhoon status during its passage, tropical cyclone wind signal number 3 may be hoisted over areas along the cyclone track.

PAGASA’s latest forecast track shows that the storm will move generally west-northwest then turn west on Wednesday morning. 

It is looking at two possible scenarios regarding the landfall of Ulysses, considering the area of probability of the cyclone’s center track.

Based on its current track, PAGASA said Ulysses is more likely to make landfall over Quezon province early morning on Thursday, with a close approach to Catanduanes and Camarines Norte on Wednesday afternoon and evening, respectively. 

However, should there be a slight southward shift in its center track, PAGASA is not ruling out a possible landfall over Bicol region on Wednesday afternoon or evening.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains due to the trough or extension of Ulysses may prevail over Aurora, Quezon, Bicol region, Eastern and Central Visayas, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Bangsamoro on Tuesday.

By Wednesday, moderate to heavy rains associated with the rainbands of Ulysses may begin to affect Bicol region and portions of Eastern Visayas.

PAGASA warned that flooding, rain-induced landslides, and sediment-laden streamflows or lahar may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards. 

In the next 48 hours, there will be a moderate to high risk of storm surge of 1.0 to 2.0 meters over the coastal areas of Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Romblon, and Marinduque, western coastal area of Masbate including Burias Island, and northern coastal areas of Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro including Lubang Island. 

“These storm surges, which may be accompanied by swells and breaking waves reaching the coast can cause life-threatening and damaging coastal inundation,” PAGASA said. 

Sea travel is also risky over the entire seaboards of Northern Luzon Kalayaan Islands, eastern seaboard of Eastern Samar, and coasts of areas under signal number 1 due to rough to very rough sea conditions.

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