For the 2019 Pacific typhoon season, from which all weather disturbances that might affect the Philippines this year are classified in, the last time a storm hit the country in 2019 was Tropical Depression Chedeng, clipping southern Mindanao before dissipating in the Sulu Sea. That was during the heyday of the El Niño phenomenon. When the rainy season arrived, all notable disturbances beginning June gave the archipelago a wide berth even while entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility. That however might change with another TD that formed early this Sunday, as it is projected to hit Luzon at around mid-week.
CNN Philippines reports that on Monday, July 15, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has forecast that Tropical Depression Falcon, which formed southwest of the Mariana Islands on July 14, will make landfall in Luzon this Wednesday, July 17. To be precise, Falcon is expected to hit Cagayan province in Region II, bringing rainy weather to the northern part of the country and strong winds at the site of landfall. PAGASA adds that while the TD is not strong enough to withstand dissipating upon hitting land it still stands to cause “great destruction” in the first hours.
But even before that landfall in Cagayan, the outer fringes of TD Falcon will already have generated rainy weather to the Philippines. Both Region V – Bicol and Region VIII – Eastern Visayas stand to receive thunderstorms and scattered rain showers from Falcon this Monday. This will add to the volume of rain that is being brought to bear by the Southwest Monsoon on Region IVB- MIMAROPA, the other side of the Visayas, and all of Mindanao. Falcon is currently due east of Catanduanes and moving north-northwesterly. As Falcon is a Tropical Depression, and could remain so until landfall, PAGASA has raised no Storm Signals for it.
In the meantime, the Monsoon is continuing to pour over the country over the course of this week. By Wednesday, just as Tropical Depression Falcon makes landfall in Cagayan, there will be moderate to heavy rains at Metro Manila, Regions I, III, all of IV and VI. Come Thursday, July 18, the heavy rains will shift to the Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu archipelago while remaining in MIMAROPA and Western Visayas.
Regarding TD Falcon, it is measured at having maximum winds of 45 km/h towards the center, a gustiness of 60 km/h, and a travelling speed of 20 km/h. By the time it passes Luzon into the Babuyan Channel, it can regain enough strength to become a Tropical Storm, but by morning of Thursday it will be out of the country.
Image courtesy of Philippine Star