Karding intensifies into tropical storm

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MANILA, Philippines – Karding intensified from a tropical depression into a tropical storm on Wednesday afternoon, August 8. It has been given the international name Yagi.

In a Facebook Live video past 5 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Karding now has maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 60 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h from the previous 75 km/h.

The tropical storm is already 1,220 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, moving east northeast at 15 km/h.

There are no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals, and Karding is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines. It will just stay near the boundary of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

But PAGASA warned that the tropical storm and a low pressure area (LPA) are both enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. This LPA is outside PAR, located 795 kilometers west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

The enhanced southwest monsoon is affecting the entire country.

Scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms will persist in Metro Manila, the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, and the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Isolated rains will also continue in the rest of the Visayas and the rest of Mindanao, while Cagayan Valley will still have localized thunderstorms.

PAGASA advised the public to stay on alert for flash floods and landslides, since the rains could become moderate to heavy. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

The state weather bureau also warned that sea travel remains risky in the western seaboards of Luzon.

A gale warning was issued for Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, the western coast of Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan. This means seas off these areas are rough to very rough, with wave heights reaching 2.6 meters to 4.5 meters.

Fishermen and others with small vessels were advised not to set sail in areas covered by the gale warning. Larger vessels should watch out for big waves.

Based on its latest forecast track, Karding will leave PAR either Friday evening, August 10, or Saturday morning, August 11.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Karding (Yagi) as of August 8, 2018, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Karding is the Philippines' 11th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8.

– Rappler.com