Tropical Storm Ineng slows down again

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Ineng (Bailu) slowed down again on Thursday afternoon, August 22, with 7 areas remaining under Signal No. 1.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ineng is already 670 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora.

It is now moving west northwest at 10 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 15 km/h.

Ineng maintained its strength, with maximum winds of 75 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h.

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

Signal No. 1 remains raised in the following areas:

Signal No. 1 means winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h. Tropical cyclone wind signals are issued based on wind and not on rainfall.

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 evening, 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)

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

A gale warning was issued at 5 pm 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, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Ineng (Bailu) as of August 22, 2019, 5 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