MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) strengthened again on Thursday morning, August 8, a trend it has maintained for two days now. It is also still enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat, which is dumping more rain.
In a briefing past 11 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Hanna now has maximum winds of 185 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 175 km/h and gustiness of up to 230 km/h from the previous 215 km/h.
The typhoon is already 490 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes, still moving northwest at 15 km/h. It is now threatening 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 are bringing light to heavy rain and gusty winds to Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands. These will persist until Friday, August 9.
The enhanced southwest monsoon is also triggering more rain on Thursday and Friday. Below is the latest list of affected areas.
Thursday, August 8
Friday, August 9
PAGASA advised residents to remain on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. Gusty conditions will also continue in the western sections of Luzon and the Visayas due to the enhanced southwest monsoon. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Some areas have suspended classes for Thursday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Thursday, August 8, 2019)
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 morning.
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 is now 180 kilometers west northwest of Dagupan City, Pangasinan. PAGASA said it is expected to dissipate within 24 to 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Typhoon Krosa strengthened further. It now has maximum winds of 130 km/h from the previous 120 km/h and gustiness of up to 160 km/h from the previous 150 km/h.
Krosa is already 1,930 kilometers east of extreme Northern Luzon, slowly moving northwest. It is not expected to enter PAR.
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: