Tropical Storm Kong-Rey (Bagyong Nando) has intensified overnight as it moves just east of Luzon. The center was last located approximately 230km east of Aparri, Cagayan or 300km southeast of Basco, Batanes. Maximum sustained winds are at 75kph with gusts of up to 110kph according to JMA’s latest warning. Kong-Rey is currently moving northward at 15kph.
As of 5am this morning, PAGASA has raised Public Storm Warning Signal #2 for Batanes Group of Islands, Signal #1 for Cagayan, Calayan Islands, Babuyan Islands, Apayao, and Isabela. These provinces should continue to have stormy conditions with strong winds and widespread light to moderate rains. Seas will be rough and coastlines should expect high waves.
Radar Image from Aparri (PAGASA)
Widespread rains continue to affect parts of Northern Luzon as seen on this radar image from Aparri, courtesy of PAGASA. Many stations especially in Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte are reporting rainfall rates of up to 20mm per hour. Some places have also recorded as much as 100mm of rain since last night increasing the chances of flooding and landslides. Keep checking PAGASA and your local news stations for the latest information on the storm and warnings for your area.
Moderate northeasterly wind shear is making it somewhat difficult for Kong-Rey to steadily intensify. However, wind shear is forecast to slowly weaken that could allow Kong-Rey to intensify to a Severe Tropical Storm in the next 2 days. In fact, JMA is forecasting Kong-Rey to become a typhoon by as early as Thursday! Of course, we’ll be closely watching the progression of this system over the next few days.