Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tropical Storm Lingling (Agaton) Update #1

Issued (11 UTC) 7pm PhT 011814

The low pressure area that we've been watching for days has finally been upgraded to a Tropical Storm, earning the international name of 'Lingling'. This cyclone is currently lingering just east of Mindanao and was last located 320km southeast of Surigao City or about 330km northeast of Davao City. Maximum sustained winds are at 65kph with gusts of up to 85kph. The system is currently moving southeastward at 10kph.

As of 5pm this afternoon, PAGASA has raised Public Storm Warning Signal #1 for Surigao del Norte, Siargao Is., Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Compostella Valley. Aside from strong winds, these provinces should also be on guard for the continued threat of heavy rains, landslides, and flash floods.

IR Image from NOAA

Latest satellite image shows a band of strong convective activity emanating from the center of the storm. Lingling's low-level center is actually fully exposed and strong vertical wind shear is displacing the said convection to the northwest quadrant. Due to the hostile environment in the region, we don't expect any significant intensification to occur.

However, despite the storm remaining weak, widespread heavy rains are still possible especially for Northern and Eastern Mindanao. Many areas here, especially the provinces under Signal #1, can receive as much as 100mm of rain through tomorrow. Total rainfall accumulations in the next 2 to 3 days could exceed 300mm in some spots, increasing the likelihood of flooding and landslides.

Tropical Storm Lingling (Bagyong Agaton) will continue moving southward, possibly moving towards Mindanao. Based on the latest forecast tracks, the system may make landfall in Mindanao by tomorrow evening and could dissipate rapidly thereafter.

We'll have another update tomorrow morning.

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