Weaker ‘amihan’ winds, calmer North Luzon seas possible soon
By Catherine J. Teves
MANILA (PNA) — Sea turbulence that’s been endangering sailing in Northern Luzon (NL) seas over the past days will likely ease this weekend with expected weakening of strong to gale-force winds associated with the northeast monsoon or “amihan” prevailing there.
Such winds are expected to be of lesser intensity as Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecast “amihan” at present to weaken towards this weekend.
“Our forecast is ‘amihan’ won’t be that strong in the next few days,” said PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja.
In its gale warning 7 released Thursday, PAGASA said strong to gale-force winds may affect Northern Luzon’s northern seaboard covering Batanes province, Calayan and Babuyan islands as well as northern coasts of Cagayan and Ilocos Norte provinces.
Seas off those areas will likely be “rough to very rough” with waves reaching 4.5 meters high due to 52 kph to 63 kph winds expected there.
“Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” said PAGASA.
A weaker “amihan” and less intense winds are likely from Friday (Dec. 2) to Sunday (Dec. 4) and even until Monday (Dec. 5), however, noted Estareja.
“There’ll be probably no gale-force winds by Sunday,” he said.
Estareja said the weaker “amihan” expected late this week may re-intensify around Tuesday (Dec. 6).
He noted such re-intensification can bring strong to gale-force winds anew.
Change in intensity of “amihan” is a natural occurrence, he said.
“There are periods of strong and weak ‘amihan’ — that’s normal,” he noted.
Unlike the northern seaboard where “amihan” is prevailing at present, PAGASA said tail-end of a cold front is affecting Northern Luzon’s eastern section.
Estareja, however, doesn’t expect that tail-end of a cold front to last long.
“That weather system may already dissipate by Friday,” he said.
He said the expected weaker “amihan” will prevail if the tail-end of a cold front dissipates.
According to PAGASA, the annual “amihan” starts over Siberia as cold, dry air mass which gathers moisture while traveling across Pacific Ocean.
PAGASA said “amihan” affects the Philippines’ eastern portions from October to late March.
“Amihan” is characterized by “widespread” cloudiness with rains or showers. (PNA)