LPA develops into Tropical Depression Ineng

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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The low pressure area (LPA) inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) developed into a tropical depression at 8 pm on Tuesday, August 20. It has been given the local name Ineng.

In a briefing past 11 pm on Tuesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tropical Depression Ineng is 930 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes. It is moving west northwest at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical depression has maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 70 km/h. But it is expected to intensify into a tropical storm within the next 12 to 24 hours.

There are no tropical cyclone wind signals raised at the moment, since Ineng remains far from land.

Current models also show Ineng is unlikely to make landfall, though PAGASA Weather Specialist Ariel Rojas said this scenario could still change since the tropical depression is a "dynamic system."

On Wednesday, August 21 – a special non-working day for the Philippines as it is Ninoy Aquino Day – scattered rain will hit Bicol and Eastern Visayas due to Ineng. The rain will range from light to heavy.

On Thursday, August 22, scattered rain will persist in Bicol, also light to heavy. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Meanwhile, Ineng is not expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. The southwest monsoon is weak at the moment, and is only affecting Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands.

Based on its latest forecast track, Ineng will leave PAR on Sunday, August 25.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Ineng as of August 20, 2019, 11 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Ineng as of August 20, 2019, 11 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Ineng is the Philippines' 9th tropical cyclone for 2019 and the 2nd for 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:

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