Possible Cyclone to Form East of Mindanao by Friday

A weather disturbance east of the Philippines may develop into a tropical depression, prompting PAGASA to consider raising tropical cyclone wind signals over Bicol and Eastern Visayas. The low pressure area (LPA), currently located 870 kilometers east of southeastern Mindanao, is expected to strengthen into a tropical depression within the next 24 hours, according to PAGASA weather specialist Ana Clauren-Jorda.

Once it becomes a tropical depression, it will be named Aghon, becoming the country’s first cyclone of 2024. The weather disturbance is predicted to move generally northwest until Saturday, then shift northeast by Sunday, remaining mostly offshore near Bicol region and Eastern Visayas. PAGASA warned that landfall in these areas is possible.

The potential Aghon is anticipated to intensify over the Philippine Sea and may become a tropical storm by Sunday. As it moves away from the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Tuesday, the cyclone could strengthen further and reach severe tropical storm status. PAGASA noted that the expected track may change due to the broad circulation of the weather disturbance, and uncertainty remains high for the first 48 hours.

In terms of expected impact, PAGASA mentioned that light to moderate rain, with at times heavy downpours, is possible over certain areas in the coming days. Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Islands may experience this today, while other regions like Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Bicol, Caraga, and Eastern Visayas may face moderate to heavy rain tomorrow.

Authorities are cautioning residents about potential water level increases, particularly in dams where levels are already low. Marcelino Villafuerte, PAGASA’s deputy administrator for research and development, emphasized the importance of preparedness as intense rains are forecasted. Earlier predictions from PAGASA suggested that the country could see up to two tropical cyclones this month amid continuing hot weather conditions.

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