Hagibis strengthens into typhoon outside PAR

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MANILA, Philippines – Hagibis, the tropical storm that the state weather bureau was monitoring outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), is now a typhoon.

In a briefing past 5 am on Monday, October 7, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Typhoon Hagibis now has maximum winds of 120 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 150 km/h from the previous 105 km/h.

PAGASA had said on Sunday afternoon, October 6, that Hagibis was over 3,000 kilometers east of Luzon.

The typhoon could now enter PAR either on Wednesday, October 9, or Thursday, October 10, said PAGASA Weather Specialist Loriedin de la Cruz on Monday.

When Hagibis enters PAR, it will be given the local name Perla. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

But De La Cruz said the chance of Hagibis making landfall in the Philippines remains low, so far.

"Gayumpaman, mag-antabay pa rin tayo sa mga updates ng PAGASA ukol sa nasabing weather disturbance," she added.

(Although that's the case, continue monitoring PAGASA updates regarding this weather disturbance.)

In the meantime, the entire country is experiencing generally fair weather on Monday, with just isolated rainshowers or localized thunderstorms. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

The Philippines has had 15 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 October to December:

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