MANILA – State weather bureau PAGASA said a tropical storm with international name ''Hagupit'' is set to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) between Thursday and Friday.
PAGASA forecaster Buddy Javier said Hagupit was headed towards the eastern portion of the country, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of 90 kph as of 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Javier, however, said the more likely scenario is for the storm to skirt the Philippines and move towards Japan due to the presence of the high pressure area (anti-cyclone) northeast of the Philippines and the strengthening of the northeast monsoon (amihan), which brings cold winds that are unfavorable for the development or intensification of a weather disturbance.
Javier explained that a weather disturbance needs at least 26 degrees Celsius of sea surface temperature for it to grow stronger.
''Siguro magiging typhoon siya pero hindi ganoon kalakas, kasi sa klima natin ngayon, mas malamig ngayon, kapag napasukan ng bagyo hihina iyan,'' Javier told dzMM.
''Hindi kagaya ng nakaraan - iyung kay Yolanda - November pa iyon so hindi pa masyadong malamig."
He said the most likely scenario for the Philippines is for the storm to re-curve towards Japan and avoid hitting the Philippine landmass due to the HPA (anti-cyclone).
This year, the Philippines has seen several instances of potentially destructive storms and typhoons skirting its landmass due to the high pressure area.
Nonetheless, Javier said residents in the eastern side of the country must still prepare for the possibility of Hagupit making landfall.
Hagupit, which was spotted 2,485 kms east of Mindanao as of 4 a.m. Tuesday, will be locally named ''Ruby'' once it enters the PAR.
The Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center of the US Navy, meanwhile, said the storm was packing one-minute sustained winds of 101 kph (55 knots) as of 8 a.m. Manila time.
The JTWC forecasts Hagupit to pack 240 kph (130 knots) by December 6 (Saturday), 8 a.m., when it is nearer the Philippines.
Graphic warning for tropical storm "Hagupit" by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center