Betty enters PH, posing threat of heavy rainfall and severe winds

Super Typhoon Mawar, locally named Betty, has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and is expected to bring heavy rainfall and severe winds to several areas, the state weather bureau said Saturday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Betty is forecast to track generally west-northwestward over the weekend, gradually decelerating and turning northwestward on Monday.

The cyclone is expected to remain stationary between late Tuesday and early Wednesday, when it will be closest to the Batanes Islands, within a range of 250-300 kilometers.

According to Pagasa, the typhoon’s center, as of the 5 a.m. advisory on May 27, was estimated at 1,320 kilometers east of Central Luzon, moving west-northwestward at 25 kilometers per hour. Betty currently presents maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h near the center, with gustiness of up to 240 km/h.

However, this cyclone may begin weakening considerably on Monday or Tuesday due to unfavorable conditions, including the upwelling of cooler ocean water and the intrusion of dry air.

Areas predicted to be most affected by the super typhoon’s heavy rainfall from Monday to Tuesday include Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northern portions of mainland Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, and Apayao.

Rainfall accumulation may range from 50-100 mm in these areas. By Tuesday to Wednesday, Batanes may experience more than 200 mm of rainfall.

Additionally, strong winds may trigger Wind Signals in areas of Northern Luzon, particularly in the northern portion, starting tonight or tomorrow morning.

Gale-force conditions are expected to begin late Sunday or early Monday over Visayas, the eastern portions of Central and Southern Luzon, and the northern and eastern portions of Mindanao due to the enhanced Southwest Monsoon.

Coastal areas are also warned of moderate to rough seas, becoming rough to very rough later today. Mariners of small seacrafts are advised to exercise precaution and possibly avoid navigating in these conditions.

Pagasa also alerted residents of potential flooding and rain-induced landslides, especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards, and localities that experienced significant rainfall in recent days.

This is a developing story, and further advisories will be issued at 11 a.m. today.

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