Sun's out as monsoon gets 'diverted' by LPA outside PAR

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MANILA, Philippines – It wasn't quite the rainy morning that people in most parts of Luzon were expecting on Monday, August 5. In fact, it even became warm and sunny. What happened to the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat?

In a briefing past 11 am on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) explained that a low pressure area (LPA) has formed outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

PAGASA Weather Specialist Benison Estareja said the LPA, which is near the West Philippine Sea or west of Northern Luzon, is pulling the southwest monsoon away.

"'Yung hangin natin, sa halip na tumagos dito sa may parteng Luzon, ay nada-divert.... Kaya naman kung mapapansin natin ngayong umaga, medyo maaraw dito sa Metro Manila, dito sa parts of Central Luzon, and Calabarzon. And 'yung habagat natin, mainly talaga 'yung maximum areas nung mga pag-ulan natin ay nandito sa may Mimaropa as well as Western Visayas," Estareja said.

(The southwest monsoon, instead of flowing to Luzon, is getting diverted.... This is why if you noticed this morning, it was somewhat sunny in Metro Manila, in parts of Central Luzon, and Calabarzon. And the areas with maximum rainfall from the southwest monsoon are only Mimaropa as well as Western Visayas.)

Estareja also said the LPA only has a slim chance of becoming a tropical depression, at least in the next 24 hours. PAGASA will closely monitor this new weather system.

In the meantime, here's the latest on the expected rainfall from the southwest monsoon.

Monday, August 5, to Tuesday, August 6

While the sun may be out again in some areas, residents must remain on alert for possible flash floods and landslides during periods of rain. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

PAGASA also warned fishermen and those with small sea vessels not to set sail in the western seaboards of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon, the seaboards of Southern Luzon and the Visayas, and the eastern seaboard of Mindanao.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Hanna (Lekima) slightly strengthened again late Monday morning.

Hanna now has maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 75 km/h and gustiness of up to 105 km/h from the previous 90 km/h.

Hanna is expected to intensify further into a severe tropical storm within the next 24 hours, and then into a typhoon while inside PAR.

It is now located 875 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, still moving north northwest at 15 km/h.

There are no areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, since Hanna is far from land. It is also unlikely to make landfall in the country.

But the tropical storm has also been enhancing the southwest monsoon.

Based on Hanna's latest forecast track, it is expected to leave PAR on Friday, August 9.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Hanna (Lekima) as of August 5, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Hanna (Lekima) as of August 5, 2019, 11 am.

Image from PAGASA

Hanna is the Philippines' 8th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 1st for the month of August. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for 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:

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. –

Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is a Central Desk editor for Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters, handles the business desk, and ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections.