Typhoon Hanna intensifies once more, monsoon rain persists

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) intensified once more before dawn on Thursday, August 8, as it continued to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.

In a bulletin issued 5 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Hanna now has maximum winds of 175 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 155 km/h and gustiness of up to 215 km/h from the previous 190 km/h.

The typhoon is already 485 kilometers east northeast of Basco, Batanes, moving northwest at a slightly slower 15 km/h from the previous 20 km/h. It is still 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 are bringing light to heavy rain and gusty winds to Batanes and the Babuyan Group of Islands.

More rain from the enhanced southwest monsoon is also expected on Thursday, and even on Friday, August 9.

Thursday, August 8

Friday, August 9

Flash floods and landslides are still possible. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Some areas have suspended classes for Thursday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Thursday, August 8, 2019)

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 morning.

Forecast track of Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) as of August 8, 2019, 5 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Hanna (Lekima) as of August 8, 2019, 5 am.

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 270 kilometers west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan. PAGASA said it is unlikely to develop into a tropical depression, but it is contributing to the enhancement of the southwest monsoon.

Meanwhile, Krosa, previously a severe tropical storm, is now a typhoon. It has maximum winds of 120 km/h from the previous 110 km/h and gustiness of up to 150 km/h from the previous 135 km/h.

Krosa is already 1,940 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:

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com