Tropical Depression "Phanfone" outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) has intensified into a tropical storm on Sunday morning, December 22, 2019. This is the 29th named storm of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season.
According to weather bureau PAGASA, as of 02:00 UTC, the storm was 1 365 km (848 miles) east of Mindanao, moving northwest at 15 km/h (9 mph) with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h (40 mph) near the center and gusts up to 80 km/h (50 mph). The storm is expected to make landfall over the Eastern Visayas-Caraga area in the Philippines by Tuesday evening, December 24.
PAGASA added that if it maintains its speed, it could enter PAR on Monday morning, December 23, where it will be 850 km East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
Beginning Tuesday, December 24, moderate to occasionally heavy rains may prevail over Visayas and northeastern Mindanao as Phanfone is expected to become a severe tropical storm at 355 km East of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.
On Wednesday morning, December 25, the storm will be at 80 km East Southeast of Roxas City, Capiz.
By Thursday, December 26, it will be at 190 km West Northwest of Coron, Palawan. On Friday, December 27, it will be located 505 km West of Subic, Zambales.
Image credit: JTWC
The international name Phanfone was contributed by Laos, which means "animal."
Featured image credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA. Acquired 16:30 UTC on December 22, 2019.