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We’ve just entered the last month of summer vacation! For some, this is the perfect time to indulge in their “huling hirit sa tag-init” fashion, selfies, playlist and memories. So, wherever you plan to spend the rest of your vacation, make sure to enjoy every moment with your family and friends.

In the midst of the Hot and Dry Season, several areas are recently experiencing rains. Weather-wise, you probably have few questions in mind. Fret not; we’ve already prepared the answers!

Are we expecting a “bagyo” this month?

According to PAGASA, different weather systems normally affect the country during this month. These include the Easterlies, Ridge of High Pressure Area (HPA), Tail End of a Cold Front, Intertropical Convergence Zone, Low Pressure Area (LPA) and Tropical Cyclone.

Despite the ongoing tag-init, the weather bureau is not dismissing the possibility of a tropical cyclone to enter or develop within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this May. An average of 0 to 1 tropical cyclone is expected with its two possible scenarios: 1) a chance of hitting the landmass or 2) re-curving away from the country, depending on the effect of the HPA.

According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Robert Badrina, historical records in the past 70 years show that tropical cyclones which entered the PAR during May were under Typhoon category. Hence, stronger typhoons usually cross our boundary during this month. The most recent one, Typhoon “Dodong”, entered the PAR on the second week of May last year.

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How long will tag-init last?

Hot days are not over yet! PAGASA says tag-init normally lasts until the end of May. Air temperatures and heat indices will continue to soar as the Easterlies and Ridge of HPA prevail within the boundary.

Easterlies are warm and humid winds coming from the Pacific Ocean. This weather system is the main reason why we feel the sweltering heat.

In fact, the highest temperatures in Philippine history were recorded during the month of May.

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After a scorching day, why do we experience thunderstorms?

May is considered as “thunderstorm month” because this is the time of the year wherein thunderstorms develop more frequently. As temperatures rise, water cycle also speeds up and becomes more active. This triggers the formation of cumulonimbus clouds, also known as thunderstorm clouds, which bring moderate to heavy rains, gusty winds, along with thunder and lightning.

Expect more thunderstorms in the coming days as we approach the transition period before the rainy season.

Thunderstorm Month

How’s El Niño?

PAGASA explains that the El Niño is already in its decaying stage. It will continue to weaken further this May until July, where it is expected to return to its neutral condition.

Though some areas will receive an improved amount of rainfall, several areas should still prepare for the last wave of El Niño. Dry conditions, dry spells and droughts could still affect the country in the next few weeks.

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Good News came early this morning as PAGASA announced that “Dodong” has already exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 1:00 AM today. At 4:00 AM, it was spotted at 830 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes. Compared to previous days, it has weakened with maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 140 kilometers per hour. Moving northeast, Dodong has accelerated to 45 kilometers per hour towards the southern part of Japan.

Now that Dodong is out of the PAR, easterlies or winds coming from the Pacific Ocean, will prevail, affecting the eastern section of the country. Due to its warm and humid characteristics, this wind system will bring hot weather in most parts of the county.

The whole archipelago is expected to have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with chances of isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening. PAGASA has also terminated the gale warning, thus, slight to moderate sea condition will prevail throughout the country.

Latest image from Japan Meteorological Agency
Latest image from Japan Meteorological Agency

Meanwhile, another tropical storm is now being monitored outside the PAR. With the international name “Dolphin,” it is now classified as a tropical storm. At approximately 3,000 kilometers east of Mindanao, PAGASA Weather Forecaster Alvin Pura said it is still too far to directly affect the Philippines. However, if it maintains its velocity, Dolphin will possibly enter our boundary by the weekend.

Since one typhoon has already entered the PAR during the early part of the month, Pura said that it is normal for another storm to enter the boundary because the average number of tropical cyclones during May is 1 to 2.

Pura added that as of now, there is a slim chance for Dolphin to engage in landfall activity, and it has higher chance of recurvature. All are advised to monitor updates and further development.

At 8:00 AM today, Dodong was located over Basco, Batanes. Moving north at 19 kilometers per hour, it packs winds of 160 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 195 kilometers per hour. If Dodong maintains velocity, it will possibly exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tomorrow morning. PAGASA Weather Forecaster Manny Mendoza said it is expected to move towards the southern islands of Japan.

Some areas in Luzon are still under the Public Storm Warning Signals of PAGASA:

PSWS (As of 5AM today)

For today’s forecast, stormy weather will prevail over Batanes, Calayan and the Babuyan Group of Islands while Cagayan, Apayao and Ilocos Norte will experience rains with gusty winds. The rest of Northern Luzon will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, generally fair weather is expected over Metro Manila and the rest of the country, but all are still advised to be prepared for isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

As Dodong moves within the boundary, strong to gale force winds associated with the typhoon will trigger rough to very rough sea conditions over the eastern seaboard of Northern and Central Luzon. With wave height ranging from 3.4 to 4.5 meters, sea travel is risky for fishing boats and other small seacraft.

Latest Image from Japan Meteorological Agency
Latest Image from Japan Meteorological Agency

On the other hand, another tropical cyclone was spotted and now being monitored outside the PAR. Named as Tropical Storm ‘Dolphin,” it is still too far to affect the country. According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Samuel Duran, it was located at approximately 3,000 kilometers east of Mindanao. If Dolphin maintains its movement, it will possibly move closer towards our boundary by next week. However, due to its distance, changes may still occur in the following days. The public is advised to continuously monitor updates and further development.

as of 7 AM location update
as of 7 AM location update

Typhoon (TY) Dodong has further intensified, threatening Isabela-Cagayan Area. At 7 AM today, the center of the weather disturbance was located 140 kms. northeast of Casiguran, Aurora, packing maximum sustained winds of 170 kph near the center and gustiness of 205 kph moving northwest at 17 kph.
According to PAGASA Weather Forecast Chris Perez, Dodong is expected to make its landfall before or during noontime at the Isabela-Cagayan area.
TY Dodong is expected to be outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday.

Public Storm Warning Signals are now being raised over 18 areas

5 AM Severe Weather Bulletin
5 AM Severe Weather Bulletin

PAGASA reiterates possible storm surge occurrences in areas under signasl no. 3 and 2. Ocean wave height will range from 4.1 to 14 meters.

Meanwhile, light to moderate rains and thunderstorms are expected over Bicol region, the rest of Central Luzon and Ilocos region.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have fair weather apart from isolated rains or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening.

Gale Warning: All types of sea vessels

All types of sea vessels are not allowed to venture out into the sea. Rough to very rough sea condition is expected due to typhoon Dodong.

as of 5 AM Gale Warning advisory
as of 5 AM Gale Warning advisory