Hanna intensifies into typhoon

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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Hanna (Lekima) intensified from a severe tropical storm into a typhoon early Wednesday, August 7.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced this development on social media shortly before 7 am on Wednesday.

In its online posts, PAGASA said Hanna now has maximum winds of 120 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 110 km/h and gustiness of up to 150 km/h from the previous 135 km/h.

Hanna is the Philippines' 1st tropical cyclone to reach typhoon status in 2019.

Its latest location is 625 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes. PAGASA said in its 5 am bulletin that Hanna is moving west northwest, still at the same speed of only 10 km/h.

Hanna will not make landfall in the Philippines. Signal No. 1, however, remains raised in:

The typhoon also continues to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagatwhich has been bringing rain to Luzon and the Visayas.

Here is the latest list of areas affected by the enhanced southwest monsoon.

Wednesday, August 7

Thursday, August 8

PAGASA advised residents to stay on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Classes were again suspended in some areas for Wednesday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Wednesday, August 7, 2019)

PAGASA also warned fishermen and others with small vessels not to venture out into the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas, and 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.

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)

Aside from Hanna, PAGASA continues to monitor two other weather systems:

The LPA inside PAR is now 270 kilometers west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan. PAGASA does not expect it to develop into a tropical depression.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Krosa is already 2,130 kilometers east of extreme Northern Luzon, moving west northwest at a slightly faster 15 km/h from the previous 10 km/h.

Krosa continues to have maximum winds of 75 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h.

The tropical storm is unlikely to enter PAR, according to PAGASA.

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:

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