ITCZ to trigger more rain in PH on September 22

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MANILA, Philippines – The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) will continue to bring rain on Saturday, September 22, while forecasters are keeping an eye on a tropical depression outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

The ITCZ is a belt near the equator where the trade winds of the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere meet, usually causing low pressure areas or thunderstorms. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

In a Facebook Live video around 5 pm on Friday, September 21, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the ITCZ will still affect Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao on Saturday.

PAGASA warned there would be light to heavy rain in Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Bicol, the Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga due to the ITCZ. Residents of these areas should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides.

The rest of the country will only have localized thunderstorms on Saturday, mostly in the afternoon or evening. But flash floods and landslides are also possible if the thunderstorms bring heavy rain.

Meanwhile, the tropical depression is now 2,175 kilometers east of Southern Luzon, moving north northwest at a slower 10 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 20 km/h.

It maintained its strength, with maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 65 km/h. It could intensify into a tropical storm by Saturday; a severe tropical storm by Monday, September 24; and then possibly a typhoon by Tuesday, September 25.

Right now, the tropical depression is still too far to have any effect on the Philippines. It is expected to enter PAR as a tropical storm on Sunday afternoon, September 23, and will be given the local name Paeng. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)

The potential Paeng is unlikely to make landfall, and it is not expected to significantly enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. But it might still affect extreme Northern Luzon or the Batanes area next Friday, September 28.

PAGASA earlier noted that since the weather disturbance is still too far away, the forecast could still change. The public should continue monitoring updates.

So far, the Philippines has had 15 tropical cyclones in 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.

Parts of Luzon are still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which left at least 95 people dead and caused destruction in provinces up north. (READ: Areas under state of calamity due to Typhoon Ompong)

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