Typhoon Rolly is World's Strongest in 2020: What to Expect, How to Prepare

It is expected to peak as super typhoon before landfall.
Photo/s: Romeo Gacad/Agence France-Presse

Note: This article is updated from time to time to include Pagasa's latest forecasts. Edits were made as of 6 pm. 

Typhoon Rolly roared closer to the Philippines on Saturday and is expected to become a super typhoon within the day as it gains strength from warm waters of the Pacific. It is expected to hit land by Sunday.

Here's the Super Typhoon context

Rolly (international name: Goni) is packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kph with 215 kph gusts. Based on PAGASA's classification, a super typhoon must have maximum sustained winds of at least 220 kph.

Within the day Saturday, Rolly could peak into a super typhoon, however, its maximum sustained winds will weaken to 185-205 kph at landfall. As it crosses Central Luzon, it will weaken further due to the cold, dry air or Amihan blowing from the north, said PAGASA forecaster Benison Estareja.


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"We are not ruling out the possibility that in the next 12 hours, maging super typhoon," Estareja said. There's a high probability that Rolly will be a super typhoon while out at sea, but the chances of it retaining that strength at landfall are low, he said.

International storm trackers, including the Yale Center for Environment Communication and the Washington Post have called Rolly as 2020's strongest storm in terms of wind speed.

This #FridayMorning, the #Himawari8 ????? is watching #SuperTyphoon #Goni, which has been gaining strength as it heads toward the #Philippines. With maximum sustained winds >170 mph, it is the equivalent of a major Category-5 Atlantic Hurricane. https://t.co/fHDiQ4heeq pic.twitter.com/jKVj2Y82Lp— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) October 30, 2020

Where will Rolly make landfall?

Rolly could hit land on Sunday morning passing over Catanduanes to Mainland Camarines Provinces area, and over mainland Quezon in the afternoon, based on Pagasa's 2 pm forecast on Saturday. Violent winds and intense rainfall will be experienced over these areas throughout the day, and over southern portion of Aurora from afternoon to evening. 

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Afterwards, the center of the eye will cross Southern Luzon around Metro Manila area, and is forecast to exit Luzon land on Monday morning. 

Rolly is expected to weaken as it traverses Luzon and will emerge as a severe tropical storm or minimal typhoon over the West Philippine Sea.

What can we expect Saturday?

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Saturday weather will be generally fair, except in parts of Mindanao that are affected by a trough or band of clouds that are associated with Rolly, Estareja said.

From Saturday morning to late evening Sunday, rains will become more frequent and intense in areas on the Rolly's path: the Bicol Region, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Marinduque, Northern Mindoro, according to Pagasa. 

Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, Romblon, and the rest of Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro.

Pagasa also raised issued a warning on flooding (including flash floods), rain-induced landslides, and sediment-laden streamflows (i.e. lahar) which may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards.

Saturday is the time to prepare

Take the lull in inclement weather to check roofs that need fastening and bring appliances to higher ground if you live in a flood prone area, Estareja said.

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Storm Signal no. 4, the second highest, could be raised, according to PAGASA. Here's how you can prepare:

What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 1:

1. Listen to your radio for more information about weather disturbance.
2. Check the ability of the house to withstand strong winds and strengthen it if necessary.
3. Monitor the latest severe weather Bulletin issued by PAGASA every six hours. Business may be carried out as usual except when flooding occurs.

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What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 2: 

1. Special attention should be given to the latest position, direction, and speed movement of the cyclone as it may intensify and move towards the locality.
2. The general public, especially people traveling by sea and air are cautioned to avoid unnecessary risks.
3. Protect properties before signals are upgraded.
4. Board up windows or put storm shutters in place and securely fasten it.
5. Stay at home.

What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 3:

1. Keep your radio on and listen to the latest news about the typhoon.
2. Everyone is advised to stay in safe and strong houses.
3. Evacuate from low-lying areas to higher grounds.
4. Stay away from coasts and riverbanks.
5. Watch out for the passage of the "eye" or center of the typhoon.

What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 4: 

1. Stay in safe houses or evacuation centers
2. Cancel all travel and outdoor activities. 
3. Keep listening to your radio for the latest news about the typhoon.

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What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 5: 

1. Stay in safe houses or evacuation centers
2. Cancel all travel and outdoor activities. 

How to prepare for calamities particularly flooding:

1. Regularly monitor your radio and television for calamity news updates.
2. Prepare enough candles, rechargeable lamps, and flashlights for possible brownouts.
3. If you reside in an area near the river, waterways, or mountainsides, immediately evacuate to prevent flash floods and landslides.
4. Store enough food and water. Have a first-aid kit on hand.
5. Prepare a list of emergency hotlines.


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