'Ramil' may become a super typhoon

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) yesterday said typhoon “Ramil” (international code name: Lupit) is still gaining strength and could develop into a super typhoon by next week.

Based on Pagasa’s 5 p.m. weather forecast, Ramil packed maximum winds of 140 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of 170 kph.

It was spotted at 940 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora.

But Pagasa weather forecaster Connie Dadivas said there is a possibility that the typhoon would intensify into a super typhoon if its maximum sustained winds become 185 kph. “For as long as it remains in the water, it could still gain strength, but when it approaches land there is a chance that it might weaken,” Dadivas said.

The weather disturbance was moving northwest at 13 kph, but Dadivas said it might not take the same path as typhoon “Pepeng.”

“Pepeng made landfall in Tuguegarao, but Ramil is expected to go higher and might make landfall in Aparri or even the Batanes islands,” she said.

The typhoon would most likely bring rains to northern Luzon provinces. Dadivas advised residents in northern Luzon to take the necessary precautions because its size is currently 500 kilometers in radius and could still expand.

Pagasa has been monitoring Ramil’s movement for the past few days and issued its first warning that it had already entered the Philippine area of responsibility at 2 p.m. of Oct. 16 and was officially declared a typhoon at 8 p.m.

It is expected to make landfall either on Wednesday or Thursday.

However, Pagasa clarified that they are also looking at the possibility that the typhoon would veer away and head for Taiwan if there would be no other high-pressure area to block its exit.

For the next 24 hours, Pagasa said southern Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao would experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. The rest of the country would be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms.

Light to moderate winds blowing from northwest to west would prevail over Luzon, and southwest to west over the rest of the country.

Coastal waters throughout the archipelago would be slight to moderate, except during thunderstorms.