MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Hanna (Lekima) slightly strengthened further on Tuesday afternoon, August 6, as it continued to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.
In a briefing at 5 pm on Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Hanna now has maximum winds of 100 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 95 km/h and gustiness of up to 125 km/h from the previous 115 km/h.
It is expected to intensify into a typhoon within 24 hours.
Hanna is now 780 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan, moving north northwest at 10 km/h after staying almost stationary for most of the day.
Hanna is still not expected to make landfall in the Philippines, but Signal No. 1 might be raised in extreme Northern Luzon.
The severe tropical storm also continues to enhance the southwest monsoon, which is still affecting Luzon and the Visayas.
Here is the latest list of areas affected by the enhanced southwest monsoon.
Tuesday night, August 6, until Wednesday, August 7
Flash floods and landslides remain possible in areas affected by the enhanced southwest monsoon. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
PAGASA also warned fishermen and others with small vessels not to venture out into the seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas as well as the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao.
Based on Hanna's latest forecast track, it is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday, August 9.
Image from PAGASA
Aside from Hanna, PAGASA continues to monitor two other weather systems:
The LPA inside PAR is 310 kilometers west of Iba, Zambales. PAGASA Weather Specialist Aldczar Aurelio said it is unlikely to become a tropical depression and will probably just dissipate within 24 to 48 hours as Hanna will absorb it.
Meanwhile, the tropical storm outside PAR has the international name Krosa. This was the tropical depression that PAGASA has been monitoring, but it has since intensified into a tropical storm.
Krosa is already 2,220 kilometers east of Northern Luzon, moving northwest at a slightly slower 15 km/h from the previous 20 km/h.
Krosa now has maximum winds of 65 km/h from the previous 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h from the previous 70 km/h.
The tropical storm is unlikely to enter PAR, based on current models.
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: