LPA off Mindanao
At 8am on December 22, 2021, the low-pressure area (LPA) was located 1,610 km East of Mindanao, according to Philippine weather bureau Pagasa. The LPA is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility Wednesday/Thursday and bring rains over eastern Mindanao over the Christmas weekend. Image Credit: Himawari-8 / JMA MSC / Twitter

Manila: A "low-pressure area” (LPA) seen off the south-western Pacific Ocean has changed track and is now expected to enter the Philippines after Christmas.

The weather pattern has now a much greater likelihood — or up to 70% chance — to develop into "tropical depression,” Pagasa weathermen said Wednesday.

In a tweet issued on December 22, 2022, Dr Vicente Malano, administrator of the Philippine weather bureau Pagasa, said: “Based on current data available, the low-pressure area over the Pacific is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on the 26th or 27th of December.”

“It will be closest to the landmass of Mindanao on the evening of 29th or 30th of December. This LPA has a 60-70% chance to develop into a tropical depression. In this regard, the public is advised to continue monitoring for possible changes on the forecast scenario, undertake precautionary measures, and remain vigilant against unofficial information coming from unverified sources.”

New development

This is a new development considering that just two days ago, on December 20, 2021, Pagasa said the LPA only had a 30-40% chance to develop into tropical depression.

A tropical depression is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of up to 61 km/h or less than 33 nautical miles per hour (knots); a tropical storm is a tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed of 62 to 88 kph or 34 - 47 knots, according to Pagasa's definition.

At 8am, the LPA was seen 1,610 km east east of Mindanao, the Philippines’ main island in the south, according to Pagasa. The agency added that LPA is expected to bring rains over eastern Mindanao this Christmas weekend.

Currently, an inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is affecting Mindanao, bringing scattered rains and thunderstorms.

The Philippines is still reeling from super typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette), with the death toll further rising to 375, with 56 people still missing as of Tuesday, officials said.

Many overseas Filipinos, including those in the UAE, are facing difficulty communicating with loved ones back home — almost a week after the super typhoon.