MANILA-Tropical storm “Dodong” (international name Noul) is still outside the`Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) but has gained strength and expected to enter the country on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Tuesday.

In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Benjie Depas said that as of 4 a.m., “Noul” was estimated based on all available data at 1,1,495 Km east of Surigao del Norte (9.6°N, 139.1°E).

He said the maximum sustained winds of the storm has increased to 85 kph near the center from 65 kph, while gustiness also imcreased to 100 kph from 80 kph.

He added the storm continues to move West Northwest slowly at 9 kph due to the presence of ridge of high pressure area.

Depas said with its speed and movement, the tropical storm is expected to enter PAR by Thursday and expected to make landfall in Bicol Region by Saturday or Sunday.

Another scenario, he said, is the tropical storm may recurve and will not make landfall in the country and head towards Japan.

Once it enters the PAR, it will be locally named “Dodong,” the fourth tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.

PAGASA expects at least one to two cyclones to affect the country this May.

For Tuesday forecast, Depas said the public will continue to experience warm and humid weather due to easterlies or warm air from the east as it continues to be the dominant weather system affecting the the eastern section of Luzon and Visayas.

He said due to easterlies, the whole country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

However, he noted that the chances of isolated rains are high in the areas located in the eastern section of the country since it is affected by the easterlies.

He explained that since the easterlies or winds from the east are “warm,” the convective activity brought about by its intense heat triggers the formation of localized thunderstorm clouds.

He added that its “rich in moisture” quality also contribute in the formation of thunderstorm clouds.

He said with the presence of easterlies will bring high temperatures and good weather conditions to the country in the coming days as he advised people to wear lightweight and light-colored clothing, and drink plenty of water.

He said residents of places directly hit by the heat of the sun, without trees, and surrounded by concrete roads would feel much hotter.

On Monday, Metro Manila had a highest 33.0 degrees Celsius recorded around 11 a.m. at the agency’s Science Garden in Diliman, Quezon City.

For Tuesday, temperature in Metro Manila will range 25-34 degrees Celsius while the heat index will be 28-39 degrees Celsius.

The heat index are human discomfort index that gives the “apparent” temperature or what human perceive or feel as the temperature affecting their body. High air temperatures and high relative humidity will give high apparent temperatures or indices. Full exposure to sunshine can increase the heat index by 9°C.

In its advisory, PAGASA said light to moderate winds blowing from the east to southeast will prevail over Luzon and coming from the east to northeast over the rest of the country. The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be slight to moderate. (PNA)