Tropical storm Haiyan intensifies into typhoon; to enter PHL Thursday morning

MANILA, (PNA) — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Wednesday said that the tropical storm over the Pacific Ocean or east of the Philippines has accelerated and intensified into a typhoon and expected to enter the country’s area of responsibility on Thursday morning.

PAGASA defines a typhoon or cyclone as an intense tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed exceeding 118 kph.

Once it enters the country’s vicinity, PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez said the storm, with international name “Haiyan,” will be locally named “Yolanda,” the 24th cyclone this year and the second to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) this month.

Citing the agency’s numerical models, Perez said the cyclone is projected to make landfall over Eastern Visayas specifically in Samar, Leyte on Friday afternoon.

Eastern Visayas, he noted, will surely have stormy weather that time as he advised residents to be prepared.

Perez said that as of 4:00 a.m. Wednesday, Typhoon Haiyan was estimated to be 1,560 km east of Mindanao (07.4°N, 140.7°E) with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and gustiness of up to 150 kph. It is forecast to move west at 30 kph.

Based on its present “westward” track, Perez said the cyclone is projected to traverse the Visayas region then will exit via the Mindoro area or Palawan.

He said it is possible that a storm warning signal will be raised over the areas of Visayas and nearby areas -– as the storm approaches Mindoro area –- due to the outer cloud bands of the cyclone.

For Wednesday forecast, Perez said the northeast monsoon would affect northern and Central Luzon bringing cloudy skies with rain showers and thunderstorms over the Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos.

He added that Metro Manila and the rest of the country will experience isolated rain showers and thunderstorms especially in the eastern section.

In its advisory, PAGASA said that moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Western Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast to north with slight to moderate seas.