Monday, August 13, 2012

'Helen' nears; expect heavy rains

The weather bureau warned yesterday that a low-pressure area east of Northern Luzon had intensified into a tropical depression that could induce rains even as some areas are still flooded in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. “Helen,” the eighth tropical cyclone to enter the country and the second weather disturbance this month, was spotted at 750 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora as of 4 p.m. yesterday, packing winds of up to 55 kilometers per hour near the center. It was forecast to move west-northwest at 11 kph. No storm warning signals have been raised as of yesterday afternoon. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Helen is expected to bring 10 to 20 millimeters of rain per hour (heavy-intense) within its 350 km-radius. “Tropical depression Helen is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon (habagat) which will bring rains over Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao especially the western section,” PAGASA said in its Severe Weather Bulletin Number One. PAGASA, however, said Helen is unlikely to make landfall over any part of the country. Helen is predicted to be at 550 km east northeast of Casiguran this afternoon; 410 km northeast of Casiguran, Aurora by tomorrow afternoon and at 300 km north of Aparri, Cagayan by Wednesday afternoon. “By late tomorrow, rains will continue to prevail over Luzon, particularly the western section and Bicol area as the weather disturbance moves closer to eastern Luzon. By Tuesday, rains will prevail over most parts of Luzon,” said PAGASA weather division chief Robert Sawi