The online news portal of TV5
(Update: 1:34 am) MANILA, Philippines- The country's first storm has developed Thursday evening just as the state weather bureau officially announced the start of the rainy season.
Tropical Depression 'Ambo' was spotted some 260 kilometers east of Borongan, Samar at around 10 pm according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
The storm moves northwest at 15 kph with wind strength at 55 kph near the center. Ambo has yet to make landfall but is already affecting the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas, where a storm signal warning is in place.
But as of early Friday, Pagasa said in its official Twitter account that Ambo may not make landfall in the country.
View Tropical Depression 'Ambo' in a larger map
As of 11 pm Thursday, Storm Signal No 1 is hoisted over Catanduanes and Samar provinces. These areas will expect winds of 30-60 kph, 30 minutes after the warning has been announced.
Ambo is expected to dump between 10 and 15 mm of rain per hour within 200 kilometers. Houses made from light materials like nipa and cogon may be partially unroofed, while some small trees may be broken.
Pagasa has advised residents in Catanduanes and Samar to await their weather bulletins issued every six hours.
Though still weak, Ambo is pulling the southwest monsoon or Hanging Habagat, which is already bringing cloudiness and scattered rains over the western section of the country.
Here is Pagasa's three-day forecast of the storm's path:
Friday evening: 190 km Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes
Saturday evening: 340 km East Northeast of Tuguegarao City
Sunday evening: 510 km Northeast of Tuguegarao City or at
430 km East Southeast of Basco, Batanes
The presence of the Habagat and the recording of 25 mm of rain in three consecutive days in at least five weather stations of Pagasa arethe requirements needed in declaring the start of the rainy season.
According to Pagasa, more than 19 storms are expected to visit the country this year.