PAGASA: Mawar weakens into typhoon; re-intensification into super typhoon possible once in PAR

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 24) — Super Typhoon Mawar was downgraded into typhoon category after it slightly weakened on Wednesday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

PAGASA weather specialist Ana Clauren-Jorda said in an 8 a.m. briefing that this was due to eyewall replacement, or a new eye developing around the old one.

Jorda said there is still a possibility that Mawar, which will be locally called “Betty,” will be a super typhoon once it is inside the country’s weather monitoring area by Friday night or early Saturday morning.

The state weather bureau said Mawar was last located 2,170 kilometers east of the Visayas. It packs maximum sustained winds of up to 175 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 215 kph, PAGASA added.

According to PAGASA, the current position of Typhoon Mawar was also where Severe Tropical Storm Paeng and Tropical Storm Urduja originated.

It is still less likely to make landfall in the country, but storm signals may be raised in parts of the country, specifically northern Luzon, Jorda noted.

While landfall is not expected, Mawar is seen to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat, which will bring rains over the western section of the country, specifically in the Palawan area and the Visayas during the weekend.

In its 1 p.m. briefing, PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez said the anticipated typhoon may also bring enhanced rains in some areas of Northern Luzon.

Meanwhile, PAGASA officer-in-charge Esperanza Cayanan said they are also monitoring if Mawar will trigger the onset of the rainy season in the country.

Perez added that the anticipated El Niño does not affect the current movement of Typhoon Mawar.

“Wala pa naman kasi tayong full blown na El Niño sa ngayon. ‘Yung naging pagkilos ng bagyo [Mawar] ay depende talaga sa atmospheric at oceanic condition na existing sa ngayon,” he said.

[Translation: We don't have a full blown El Niño yet. The movement of the typhoon [Mawar] really depends on the atmospheric and oceanic conditions that exist at the moment.]

But Cayanan said the country may experience extreme weather events before the forecasted drought during the second half of the year.

READ: PAGASA: 'Ondoy-like' rains in western portions of PH possible before El Niño

Agencies are already gearing up for the expected entry of Mawar.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government said it has instructed all its regional directors to coordinate with their respective local disaster management officials and to remind local government units to prepare for Mawar.

The Office of the Civil Defense said it has alerted local government units that will be possibly affected by the rains caused by the enhanced southwest monsoon. Rescue teams were also told to be on standby, it added.

Meanwhile, Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian said 690,000 relief goods were already distributed as his department also works on doubling the stockpile of food packs in the Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley, which is currently at 30,000.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said it is also implementing precautionary measures in anticipation of the impact of Mawar.

“Airports located within the possible path of Mawar, such as Ilocos region and Cagayan Valley airports, have already conducted pre-typhoon coordination meetings and assessments to gear up for possible weather disturbance,” it said.