MANILA, Philippines – The low pressure area (LPA) inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility could develop into a tropical depression within the next 24 to 36 hours.
In a Facebook Live video past 4 pm on Saturday, August 3, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA is already 975 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.
According to PAGASA Weather Specialist Gener Quitlong, the LPA – which would be given the local name Hanna if it becomes a tropical depression – is unlikely to make landfall. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)
The trough or extension of the LPA, however, has already been bringing some rain. Scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms are expected to persist in the following regions:
PAGASA also warned that the LPA is enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, which is affecting Luzon and Western Visayas. Below is the expected rainfall from the southwest monsoon from Saturday evening to Sunday, August 4.
Moderate to heavy monsoon rain
Scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms (thunderstorms may be severe at times)
PAGASA advised the public to stay on alert for more floods and possible landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Due to the southwest monsoon as well, a gale warning was issued for the western seaboard of Luzon, which includes:
Sea conditions in those areas are rough to very rough, with wave heights reaching 2.8 meters to 4.5 meters.
PAGASA said fishing boats and other small vessels should not set sail, while larger vessels must watch out for big waves.
The rest of the country, not affected by the trough of the LPA or the southwest monsoon, will have generally fair weather with only localized thunderstorms.
So far, the Philippines has had 7 tropical cyclones in 2019. The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually, but since 2019 is an El Niño year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones are expected.
Below is the estimated number of tropical cyclones from August to December: