Philippine: Weathermen eyeing low-pressure area

Philippines storm
This aerial handout photo received from the Philippine Army on December 18 shows destroyed houses caused by Super Typhoon Rai after the storm crossed over General Luna, Siargao Island.
Image Credit: AFP

Even as the death toll from super typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) rose to 367 on Sunday, the approach of a Low Pressure Area (LPA) will become part of dominant weather systems to affect the Philippines between today (December 26, 2021) and New Year holidays, weather forecasters said.

Rai left 108,000 homes totally damaged. The LPA seen off the south-western Pacific Ocean has changed track and is expected to enter the Philippines, they added.

LPA off Mindanao
The low-pressure area (LPA) was located 1,610 km East of Mindanao on December 22, 2021. The LP, with up to 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression, is now expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility after New Year.

About 16 million people were on Rai’s destructive path, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The agency said there are at least 530,000 people now targeted for humanitarian assistance, which shows the magnitude of the Rai’s damage.

Between now and New Year’s Day, the Philippines may also face northeast monsoon and the tail-end of cold front, according to Philippine weather bureau Pagasa.

The formation of a tropical cyclone formation, however, is less likely until the end of the year.

“Based on our analysis, there is a low chance of another storm in the next five days inside the Philippine area of responsibility,” Pagasa weather specialist Benison Estareja said in the state weather bureau’s public weather forecast issued 4 am Sunday (December 26, 2021).


Death toll in the aftermath of Rai

December 26-28, 2021

“By Sunday until Tuesday (26-28 December): occasional rains are expected over the eastern section of Luzon and Mindanao and Eastern Visayas due to the southward migration of the Shear Line. The rest of the country will be cloudy, with light rains,” the the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in its weather outlook until January 2, 2021.

December 29-31, 2021

By Sunday until Tuesday (26-28 December): occasional rains are expected over the eastern section of Luzon and Mindanao and Eastern Visayas due to the southward migration of the Shear Line. The rest of the country will be cloudy with light rains.

January 1-2, 2022: Flood, landslides expected

On New Year’s Day (Saturday) until Sunday (01-02 January): southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will be cloudy with scattered rainshowers while the rest of Luzon will have fair weather condition apart from isolated passing light rains.

Flood and landslides are expected over prone areas of Visayas and Mindanao and the provinces over the eastern section of Luzon.


Decades of research found important relationships between tropical cyclones and changing climate. The reliability to tropical cyclone observations and prediction has dramatically increased with weather satellites.

Caution for sea travellers

Sea travellers over the seaboards of the country specially on the eastern section should exercise extra caution due to strong winds that could generate big waves.

$1 billion damage from Rai

Super Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette) left an estimated $1 billion damage (about 5 billion pesos — 4 billion pesos(P800 million) in damage to infrastructure, and 2 billion in agriculture losses — according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

4 million people affected, 108k homes damaged

The Department of Social Welfare and Development also estimates nearly 4 million individuals (or 1 million) families were affected by Rai.

Moreover, there were 108,082 homes have been totally damaged, while 216,371 houses have sustained partial damages, leaving some 285,000 people still seeking shelter inside evacuation centres as of December 24 night.

As of Saturday, December 25, the NDRRMC’s death toll in the aftermath of Odette also rose to 367.

According to Pagasa, the shear line and the northeast monsoon, locally known as “amihan”, may also bring some rains in Southern Luzon and Northern Visayas in the coming days.

Localised thunderstorms

He added that the Eastern and Western portions of Mindanao are also seen to experience a few localised thunderstorms. In its regional weather forecast for the greater Metro Manila area, Pagasa added that the capital region and its surrounding areas will experience “partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains.”

“Light to moderate winds coming from the northeast will prevail and the coastal waters along these areas will be slight to moderate,” the forecast reads.

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