MANILA Tropical depression Pepito slightly accelerated early Tuesday as it moved towards Northern and Central Luzon ahead of its landfall, the state weather bureau said.
The country's 16th storm this year was last estimated 440 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon as of 4 a.m., moving west northwest at 25 km per hour while packing maximum winds of 55 kph with up to 70 kph gusts.
Pepito may hit land as a tropical depression or tropical storm over the coast of Aurora-Isabela area on Tuesday evening, cross the Luzon landmass and emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday morning, PAGASA said in its latest weather bulletin.
It is forecast to intensify into a severe tropical storm by Thursday, PAGASA added.
On Tuesday, it will bring moderate to heavy rains over Bicol region, Marinduque, Romblon, Quezon, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, mainland Cagayan, Pangasinan, and Benguet.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will prevail over Metro Manila, Cordilleras, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bangsamoro, Northern Mindanao, and the rest of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.
PAGASA raised tropical cyclone warning signal 1 in the following areas, where 30-60 kph winds may rip roofs off nipa and cogon huts, damage rice crops and down banana plants:
- Metro Manila
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Mountain Province
- Ilocos Sur
- La Union
- Nueva Ecija
- northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar, Infanta, Real) including Polillo Islands
- extreme northern portion of Camarines Norte (Vinzons)
Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for updates.