MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Maria maintained its strength while moving slowly outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday morning, July 7. It will be given the local name Gardo once it enters PAR.
Maria or the potential Gardo is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines, but state weather bureau PAGASA warned that it would enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.
In a bulletin issued 11 am on Saturday, PAGASA said Maria is already 1,995 kilometers east of Central Luzon, slowly moving northwest. Since it's still outside PAR, it has no effect on the country yet – even indirect.
The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 185 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center and gustiness of up to 225 km/h.
If Maria's speed and direction do not change, it could enter PAR on Monday morning, July 9. It would then stay inside PAR for just a day, as it is projected to exit on Tuesday morning, July 10.
Image courtesy of PAGASA
Given that Maria or Gardo is not expected to make landfall, tropical cyclone warning signals will not be raised even if it enters PAR.
What would directly bring rain is the southwest monsoon, to be enhanced by the typhoon.
PAGASA warned that the southwest monsoon will bring rain to Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Western Visayas until Sunday, July 8.
There could also be monsoon rain in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa on Monday, July 9.
Residents of those regions to be affected by the southwest monsoon, especially those in low-lying and in mountainous areas, should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)