Heavy monsoon rain expected in Northern, Central Luzon

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MANILA, Philippines – A low pressure area (LPA) will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat on Tuesday, August 14. The southwest monsoon is affecting Luzon.

In a bulletin issued Tuesday at 4 am, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA is already 760 kilometers east northeast of Basco, Batanes.

This LPA only has a slim chance of developing into a tropical depression, according to PAGASA.

"Pero continuous monitoring po tayo, at kung magkataon man, magpapalabas naman tayo ng abiso (But we're continuously monitoring, and if ever, we'll issue an advisory)," said PAGASA Weather Specialist Shelly Ignacio in a Facebook Live video past 5 am.

Moderate to heavy monsoon rain will hit the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Batanes, the Babuyan Group of Islands, Zambales, and Bataan.

Metro Manila, Occidental Mindoro, Calabarzon, and the rest of Central Luzon will also have scattered rains and thunderstorms, while the rest of Luzon will only have isolated rainshowers. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

PAGASA advised residents of Luzon to stay on alert for floods and landslides. Massive floods already hit parts of Metro Manila and Rizal last weekend, after the enhanced southwest monsoon dumped more than half of August's expected rainfall in just one day. (READ: #FloodPH: Things to do when you're trapped, in need of rescue)

Classes in some areas are still suspended for Tuesday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Tuesday, August 14)

The Visayas and Mindanao – not affected by the southwest monsoon – will only have localized thunderstorms. But flash floods and landslides are possible, too, if the rains become moderate to heavy.

A gale warning was issued at 5 am for Batanes, the Babuyan Group of Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro and the western coast of Batangas.

Seas off those areas are rough to very rough, with wave heights reaching 2.6 meters to 4.5 meters.

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

Leepi, Bebinca

Meanwhile, Severe Tropical Storm Leepi is now located 1,775 kilometers east northeast of extreme Northern Luzon, outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

It maintained its speed and strength, moving north at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h) with maximum winds of 90 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h. It remains unlikely to enter PAR due to its direction.

There's also Tropical Storm Bebinca outside PAR, located 810 kilometers west northwest of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, and slowly moving east southeast.

Bebinca continues to have maximum winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h. Like Leepi, it is unlikely to enter PAR.

So far, the Philippines has had 11 tropical cyclones in 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