PAGASA says Mawar may reintensify into super typhoon

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

May 24, 2023, 6:42 pm

MANILA -- While Mawar is forecast to remain as a typhoon in the next 12 hours, the weather bureau on Wednesday said there is also a chance that the weather disturbance would reintensify into a super typhoon.

Mawar was last tracked 2,135 kilometers east of the Visayas, packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kph near the center.

"It may reintensify into a super typhoon and may reach a peak intensity of 205 kph maximum sustained winds over the weekend," Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) senior weather specialist Chris Perez said.

The typhoon, he said, may head north northwestward in the next 12 hours and may traverse the Philippine Sea.

PAGASA maintained that Mawar is forecast to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) either Friday night or Saturday. Once inside PAR, it will be named Betty.

Perez said Betty may enhance the monsoon rains over the western portion of Mimaropa, the Visayas and Mindanao beginning Friday to Saturday. Enhanced monsoon rains are also forecast over the western portion of Southern Luzon and the Visayas beginning Sunday.

"This scenario could still change since the enhancement of southwest monsoon would depend on the track and intensity of the typhoon," he said.

Perez also clarified that depending on Mawar's proximity to Northern Luzon during recurvature period, its rainbands could affect Cagayan Valley between Sunday and Tuesday.

"Possible strong to gale-force conditions and the hoisting of tropical cyclone wind signal are not rules out," he said.

CAAP airports brace for Mawar

Meanwhile, precautionary measures are implemented across the 42 commercial airports operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in anticipation of Mawar.

"Although (Typhoon Mawar) is not expected to make landfall, the airports in Northern Luzon -- Itbayat, Basco, Cauayan and Palanan -- have activated their precautionary actions and safety measures in the event that the typhoon change its course and make landfall," CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio told the Philippine News Agency.

Flights between Guam and Manila have been canceled on Wednesday as the typhoon threatens to hit the US territory.

Meanwhile, CAAP said airports in Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley have already conducted assessments in preparation for the typhoon. CAAP Tacloban, on the other hand, conducted a drill to ensure readiness, particularly on aircraft incidents.

Food packs and "malasakit kits" will be distributed to affected travelers, CAAP said. (PNA)