Rain to greet Pope Francis in Tacloban-Pagasa

MANILA - Rain will likely accompany the visit of Pope Francis to Tacloban City on January 17, the weather bureau said yesterday.

Forecaster Alvin Pura, of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) told Inquirer.net that they expect rain over the Visayas during the scheduled trip there of the leader of the world's one-billion Catholics.

Pura said rain would be brought by a low-pressure area (LPA) that is seen to sweep across the central Philippines later this week.

The LPA is currently over the Pacific Ocean, east of the Visayas, while moving north northwest towards Northern Samar and the Bicol Region, Pagasa said.

"It won't be a drizzle, the LPA would bring rain," Pura said Sunday. "We know that he will visit Visayas and that rain would fall on the area."

The pontiff is scheduled to arrive at the Tacloban City airport at 9:30 am on Saturday and say Holy Mass near the airport thirty-minutes later.

His Holiness will then meet with survivors of Supertyphoon Yolanda and bless the Pope Francis Center for the Poor before flying back to Manila at 5 p.m.

Notwithstanding the expected wet weather in Leyte, Pura said Metro Manila would experience fair weather during Pope Francis' stay.

"Metro Manila would have fair weather and the cold temperature would still continue because of the northeast monsoon," Pura said. "What we are experiencing currently would be experienced during his stay."

The Pope would be arriving in Manila on January 15 and have activities on the following day, and on January 18.

He is set to return to Rome at 10 am on January 19.

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