Tropical Depression Luis set to leave PAR

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Luis continued to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat on Friday afternoon, August 24, hours ahead of its exit from the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

In a bulletin issued 4 pm on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Luis still has maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 65 km/h.

The tropical depression is now 505 kilometers north northwest of Basco, Batanes, moving north at a slightly faster 10 km/h from the previous 7 km/h.

Based on its latest forecast track, Luis will leave PAR either on Friday night or on Saturday morning, August 25.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Luis as of August 24, 2018, 4 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Luis as of August 24, 2018, 4 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Luis earlier made landfall in Taiwan on Thursday, August 23. Taiwan, given its proximity to the Philippines, is inside PAR – the area set by the World Meteorological Organization for PAGASA to monitor. Weather disturbances inside PAR directly or indirectly affect the Philippines.

In the case of Luis, it is not expected to directly affect any part of the country, so there are no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals. But as PAGASA said, Luis is enhancing the southwest monsoon.

On Saturday, there will still be moderate to heavy monsoon rain in the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Zambales, Bataan, Batanes, and the Babuyan Group of Islands.

Residents of those areas should stay on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

The rest of the country, not affected by the southwest monsoon, will only have localized thunderstorms on Saturday. But flash floods and landslides are possible, too, if the rain becomes heavy.

A gale warning was also issued at 5 pm on Friday for Batanes, the Babuyan Group of Islands, the northern coast of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, the eastern coast of Cagayan, Isabela, and Aurora.

This means seas off these areas are rough to very rough, with wave heights reaching 2.6 meters to 4.5 meters.

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

Meanwhile, PAGASA continues to monitor a low pressure area (LPA) located 1,055 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes.

This LPA has a slim chance of developing into a tropical depression within the next 24 to 48 hours. If it becomes a tropical depression, it would be named Maymay. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)

Luis is the Philippines' 12th tropical cyclone for 2018. The Philippines usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.

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