Typhoon Hanna continues to intensify, enhance monsoon

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) continued to intensify and enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat on Wednesday afternoon, August 7.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Hanna now has maximum winds of 140 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 130 km/h and gustiness of up to 170 km/h from the previous 160 km/h.

The typhoon is 590 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, moving north northwest at 15 km/h. It is heading toward the southern part of Japan's Ryukyu Islands.

Hanna will not make landfall in the Philippines. Signal No. 1, however, remains raised in:

PAGASA warned that Hanna's outer rainbands will bring light to heavy rain and gusty winds to Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands on Wednesday night and on Thursday, August 8.

The southwest monsoon enhanced by the typhoon will also trigger more rain. Below is the expected rainfall.

Wednesday night, August 7

Thursday, August 8

Flash floods and landslides remain possible in those areas. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

PAGASA added that occasional gusty conditions will continue in the western sections of Luzon and the Visayas due to the enhanced southwest monsoon.

Travel also remains risky in the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas, and northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao.

Based on Hanna's latest forecast track, it is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday, August 9.

Forecast track of Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) as of August 7, 2019, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) as of August 7, 2019, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Hanna is the Philippines' 8th tropical cyclone for 2019, and the 1st for the month of August. It is also the country's 1st tropical cyclone to reach typhoon status in 2019. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

Aside from Hanna, PAGASA continues to monitor two other weather systems:

The LPA inside PAR remains 325 kilometers west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, hardly moving in that spot. PAGASA said it is unlikely to develop into a tropical depression.

Meanwhile, Severe Tropical Storm Krosa is already 2,010 kilometers east of extreme Northern Luzon, still moving north northwest at 15 km/h.

Krosa maintained its strength, with maximum winds of 95 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h.

The severe tropical storm is unlikely to enter PAR, according to PAGASA.

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