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Super Typhoon Pepeng Threatens Metro Manila! (Updated)

October 2, 2009

PEPENG 10 PM abs montage

(ABS-CBN GRAPHICS)

Just examine this composite of Pepeng’s status as of 10 p.m. last night, Oct. 1.

Minus the technical gobbledygook, it’s clear how massive it is and its movement.

Pay attention to the 3rd panel showing 3 path scenarios, including one where it veers away but another where it could hit Metro Manila with its wind gusts running in excess of 200 KPH!

Here’s how GMA News is reporting Pepeng’s threat:

Typhoon “Pepeng (Parma)” intensified further on Thursday afternoon, prompting the government to place eight provinces and two islands under storm alert levels.

Under Public Storm Signal No. 1 are Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Quezon, Aurora, Sorsogon, Burias Island and Polillo Island in Luzon; and Northern Samar in the Visayas, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 11 p.m. advisory.

Catanduanes in the Bicol region meanwhile is under Public Storm Signal No. 2, Pagasa said.

Pepeng is the 16th weather disturbance that hit the Philippines this year. The country has not yet recovered from the devastation caused by tropical storm “Ondoy (Ketsana),” which claimed at least 277 lives and damaged close to P5 billion worth of infrastructure and agricultural crops.

PAGASA’S CLASSIFICATION
OF TROPICAL CYCLONES

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration classifies tropical cyclones according to their degrees of intensity.

TROPICAL DISTURBANCE: A discrete weather system with an apparent circulation. It is characterized by a poorly developed wind circulation of weak velocities and with one or no closed isobars (isobars are lines of equal pressures). This is commonly observed throughout the wet tropics and sub-tropics.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION: A weak low pressure disturbance with a definite surface circulation having maximum wind speed of up to 63 kilometers per hour (kph). It has one or more closed isobars and is most common in the equatorial regions or intertropical convergence and less frequent in the trades.

TROPICAL STORM: A moderate tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed of 64 to 118 kph and with closed isobars.

TYPHOON: An intense tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed exceeding 118 kph.

SUPER TYPHOON: A more intense tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed exceeding 220 kph.

Sources: Pagasa weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz and Pagasa’s article.
Pagasa said Pepeng had gained strength and is now packing maximum winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 230 kph.

As of 10 p.m. Thursday, the typhoon, carrying what Pagasa called “disastrous” winds, was spotted 360 kilometers (km) east northeast of Catarman, Northern Samar and was forecast to move west northwest at 19 kph.

Heavy rains

Heavy rains are expected in the Bicol Region and Eastern Luzon starting Thursday night, weather bureau chief Nathaniel Cruz told GMANews.TV. The rains would be triggered not just by Pepeng but by the southwest monsoon as well, he added.

On Friday afternoon, the typhoon is expected to be 100 km northeast of Virac in Catanduanes, according to Pagasa’s 5 p.m. weather bulletin.

The latest bulletin said Pepeng was expected to make a landfall between the provinces of Aurora and Isabela on Saturday noon. By Saturday evening, it is expected to be at the vicinity of Mt. Province.

On Sunday afternoon, it is expected to be 250 km west northwest of Laoag City in Ilocos Norte.

Dear Lord, please…

1st Update:

PAGASA has just held its 5 a.m. briefing with more disturbing details:

Pepeng is now expected to make landfall on Auroa, Quezon by mid-morning of Oct 3.

But the more worrisome aspect is it can whip up gusts of in excess of 230 KPH and carries a lot of water.

It may weaken slightly when it hits land but Metro Manila it covered by its rain area even if it does not hit the capital region directly.

PAGASA says that in Western meteorological terms it may be called a Category 5 hurricane and it could happen that PAGASA will hoist Stor Warning # 4.

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