Tropical storm “Guchol” moved closer to the Philippines yesterday but state weather forecasters said it is not expected to directly hit any part of the country.
Guchol, which will be given the local name “Butchoy” once it enters Philippine territory, was unlikely to make landfall, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday.
However, PAGASA said Butchoy may enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains over Luzon and Western Visayas until early next week.
PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando in a text message to The STAR said the storm was expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility today or tomorrow.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, the storm was spotted at 1,390 kilometers east of northern Mindanao, packing winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It was forecast to move west-northwest at 15 kph.
Meanwhile, PAGASA said the southwest monsoon and a shallow low pressure area off Mindanao will continue to bring rains over some parts of Luzon and Mindanao in the next few days.
The shallow low pressure area was located at 210 km east of Northern Mindanao as of 8 a.m. yesterday.
The weather bureau also reiterated its warning to fishing vessels and small sea craft in Luzon and Visayas not to venture out to sea due to strong winds.
It said strong to gale force wind is expected to affect the seaboards of Luzon and the western seaboard of Visayas.