’Pepito’ gains strength, set to cross Luzon

A low pressure area has developed into a tropical depression which the weather bureau named as “Pepito.”

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said “Pepito” slightly intensified while moving west northwestward.

“Pepito” is forecast to move west northwestward or northwestward, then to turn westward today toward the Northern-Central Luzon area.

"Pepito" is forecast to intensify into a tropical storm before making landfall.

After crossing the landmass of Luzon, the tropical depression may further intensify over the West Philippine Sea and may reach severe tropical storm category by Thursday.

Tropical cyclone wind signal no. 1 remained over Benguet, the eastern portions of Abra and Pangasinan, and the rest of Kalinga, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija.

As of 4 p.m., the center of “Pepito” was estimated at 410 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.

It was moving west northwestward at 20 km/h, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 70 km/h.

Topics: Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration , tropical depression , Pepito , Weather
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