MANILA — Ramon intensified into a tropical storm on Wednesday morning, threatening to bring occasional heavy rains over large swaths of Luzon and Visayas, according to state weather bureau PAGASA.
The country's 18th storm this year was 385 kilometers east northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar at 10 a.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour and 80 kph gusts, said PAGASA.
The bureau said it raised tropical cyclone signal 1 in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces, which may be whipped by 30 to 60 kph winds in 36 hours.
These areas and Masbate province may also experience occasional heavy rains starting Wednesday.
On Thursday, more areas will experience occasional heavy rains, including Cagayan, Isabela, Northern Aurora, Bicol Region, Apayao, Quezon, Northern Samar, the rest of Cagayan, Isabela and Aurora, said PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez.
Ramon is expected to make landfall in the Isabela-Cagayan area, said PAGASA Administrator Dr. Vicente Malano.
Rains from the tail-end of a cold front or the interaction of cold and warm air from the Pacific Ocean inundated northern Cagayan last week, leaving at least 3 dead, said local officials.
Ramon will reach the agricultural province on Saturday, said Perez.
PAGASA was still monitoring whether or not the storm will raise the water level in Angat Dam, the main water source of Metro Manila.
The Central Luzon dam's level was at 188.47 meters as of 6 a.m., below its normal maximum level of 210 meters, said PAGASA.