A low-pressure area east of the Philippines has strengthened into a tropical depression and will enter the East Vietnam Sea by early Saturday morning, Vietnam’s central weather agency forecast.
The depression took shape on Thursday night in the waters east of the Philippines’ central coast and has since moved toward the East Vietnam Sea, the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting said on Friday morning.
The depression was located east of the Philippines’ Luzon Island at 7:00 am on Friday, packing winds of up to 49 kph and gusts of 78 kph.
It is expected to move northwest at 15-20 kph and will make its way into the East Vietnam Sea at some point between Friday night and early Saturday morning.
By 7:00 am on Saturday, the depression will be centered in the northern part of the East Vietnam Sea, about 310 kilometers southeast off Hong Kong, with strong winds of up to 88 kph.
Over the following 48-72 hours, the depression will mainly travel west and northwest, maintaining its speed but possibly picking up strength.
Due to the effects of the low-pressure trench combined with the southwestern monsoon, the southern area of the East Vietnam Sea, including the waters surrounding Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago and the maritime area near south-central Binh Thuan Province, southern Kien Giang Province, and the Gulf of Thailand will see showers and thunderstorms with winds of up to 61 kph and potentially dangerous squalls and whirlwinds.
On Saturday, rough seas, powerful winds of up to 88 kph, and waves of two-to-four meters tall are forecast to ravage the waters from Ninh Thuan in south-central Vietnam to southernmost Ca Mau Province.
The poor weather and rough seas are likely to have negative effects on vessels and other maritime operations, the weather agency warned.
From Friday evening to Saturday morning, medium to heavy rains, together with thunderstorms, will cover Vietnam’s northern mountainous areas with rainfalls averaging 40-70 millimeters and even possibly topping out at 150 millimeters in some locales.
The same rainy weather is forecast to affect the midlands and the northern delta, with precipitation of up to over 70 millimeters.
The Central Highlands and southern regions will also be hit by torrential rains mainly in the afternoon and evening, with rainfall of more than 80 millimeters.