As residents of Mindanao and Southern Visayas pick up following Typhoon Odette another tropical storm is brewing in the Philippine Sea here in January.

The area is slowly getting organized Thursday evening but still remains broad and spread out with little to no clear low-level circulation. Not until the weekend into early next week do model guidance develop a low-level center off the coast of Mindanao.

At that point expect a steady stream of moisture to move onshore from Leyte to Samar to Mindanao with localized flooding and the potential of landslides. This moisture will also move inland across Visayas into Cebu.

Will it become a Tropical Storm? Possibly, the Philippine Sea can surprise us and after doing this for 12 years I don’t rule anything out.

Will, it re-curve north? No, the WestPac High is dominating north of it and will keep it on a westward track until it rounds the high west of the Philippines.

After landfall expect the moisture to stretch north though and push in across Manila into Northern Luzon by the latter part of the week, this will also subside the cold surge that has been dominating for the last few weeks.

Are January storms Common? I wouldn’t say Common, but for sure not unheard of. This time of year there are three types of storms that often form.

  1. TCs formed within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) but recurve afterwards towards the eastern part of PAR (non-landfalling).
  2. TCs formed within PAR and may make landfall in eastern part of Visayas then recurves towards the northern part of PAR before dissipating.
  3. TCs formed in the Western Pacific which may enter PAR and make landfall in Central Philippines before dissipating.

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