MANILA — Typhoon Lawin (international name ‘Haima’) may be almost a super typhoon when it makes its expected landfall in northern Luzon this week, threatening significant damage and losses in the region, the state weather bureau said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) categorizes super typhoons as tropical cyclones with winds exceeding 220 kph.
“Estimated intensity of ‘Lawin’ at landfall is between 200 kph and 220 kph,” said PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja.
He said the government will raise Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal 4 if ‘Lawin’ reaches such intensity.
PAGASA warned of possible “moderate” to “very heavy” damage to structures in areas under signal 4.
“Severe” agricultural losses are also possible in those areas, noted PAGASA.
In its severe weather bulletin 4 released Tuesday, PAGASA forecast ‘Lawin’ to make landfall early Thursday morning in the Cagayan area.
“Very strong winds and heavy rainfall can be expected there,” said PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio.
He urged communities concerned to prepare early, noting that the Cagayan area will already begin experiencing the fury of ‘Lawin’ on Wednesday.
Other Northern Luzon areas and Central Luzon will likely experience light to moderate rains, he added.
PAGASA located ‘Lawin’ at 950 km. east of Camarines Norte province’s capital Daet as of 10 a.m. Tuesday.
‘Lawin’ packed maximum sustained winds of up to 185 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 230 kph, noted PAGASA.
“Estimated rainfall amount is from moderate to heavy within the 650-km. diameter of the typhoon,” PAGASA said.
The typhoon will likely move west-northwest at a faster 25 kph.
PAGASA expects ‘Lawin’ to intensify further before making landfall, particularly since this typhoon is still over water, drawing energy needed to increase strength.
‘Lawin’ is over waters where sea surface temperature at present is warm and conducive to this typhoon’s further intensification, Estareja said.
He said the temperature required for a tropical cyclone to develop is about 27°C only.
“Temperature in waters where ‘Lawin’ is, (has) reached 30°C already,” he noted.
PAGASA reported on Tuesday that signal 1 prevails over Cagayan province, including the Calayan islands, since 30 kph to 60 kph winds can be expected there in 36 hours.
Signal 1 has also been raised over Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Catanduanes provinces, Aurora province’s northern areas and Polillo Island.
Waves up to 4 meters high can be expected in open seas there.
PAGASA forecast ‘Lawin’ to cross Northern Luzon’s landmass and head for Apayao and Ilocos Norte provinces after its landfall in the Cagayan area.
“We expect ‘Lawin’ to maintain its intensity while crossing landmass,” Estareja said.
Possible exit of ‘Lawin’ from the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) is early Friday morning, said PAGASA.
‘Lawin’ entered PAR Monday afternoon. Catherine Teves/PNA-northboundasia.com