LPA now Tropical Depression Inday, enhancing monsoon

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MANILA, Philippines – The low pressure area (LPA) inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) intensified into a tropical depression on Wednesday morning, July 18. It has been given the local name Inday.

Inday is the Philippines' 9th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Wednesday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Inday is located 660 kilometers east southeast of Basco, Batanes, moving east at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical depression has maximum winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 65 km/h. PAGASA warned that it could strengthen further into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours.

There are no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals, and Inday is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines. It is, however, enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.

Moderate to heavy monsoon rain will hit the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, and Bulacan. The frequency will be intermittent, or not nonstop, according to PAGASA.

Scattered rainshowers – ranging from light to heavy –  are also expected in Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, and the rest of Central Luzon until Friday, July 20.

Areas affected by the southwest monsoon should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

PAGASA also warned that sea travel is risky in the western seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, as the southwest monsoon is causing rough to very rough seas.

Based on its latest forecast track, Inday is expected to leave PAR on Saturday morning, July 21.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Inday as of July 18, 2018, 11 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Inday as of July 18, 2018, 11 am.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Inday comes on the heels of Tropical Storm Henry (Son-Tinh), which left PAR just on Tuesday, July 17. Henry had made landfall in the province of Cagayan thrice and also enhanced the southwest monsoon.

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