Signal No. 1 raised as Tropical Storm Ineng slightly intensifies

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MANILA, Philippines – Signal No. 1 was raised in several areas late Thursday morning, August 22, as Tropical Storm Ineng (Bailu) slightly intensified.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ineng now has maximum winds of 75 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h from the previous 80 km/h.

It is expected to strengthen further into a severe tropical storm within 24 hours, while inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

Ineng is already 725 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora, still moving west northwest at 15 km/h.

Signal No. 1 is now up over:

Areas under Signal No. 1 can expect winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h and intermittent rain in at least 36 hours. Tropical cyclone wind signals are raised even before the effects of a tropical cyclone are felt, giving residents enough time to prepare.

Ineng remains unlikely to make landfall, but it is enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, which is another source of rain.

Below is the latest list of areas affected by either the tropical storm or the southwest monsoon, and the expected rainfall from both.

Thursday, August 22

Friday, August 23

PAGASA warned that flash floods and landslides are possible in areas affected by either Ineng or the southwest monsoon. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

A couple of areas suspended classes for Thursday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Thursday, August 22, 2019)

Sea travel is also risky in the eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

A gale warning was issued at 5 am on Thursday due to Ineng. PAGASA warned of rough to very rough seas with wave heights reaching 2.8 meters to 4.5 meters in the following areas:

PAGASA said fishing boats and other small vessels should not set sail, while larger vessels must watch out for big waves.

Based on its latest forecast track, Ineng will leave PAR either on Saturday evening, August 24, or Sunday morning, August 25.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Ineng (Bailu) as of August 22, 2019, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Ineng (Bailu) as of August 22, 2019, 11 am.

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