By Ellalyn Vera-Ruiz
Monsoon rains will likely prevail over a large swath of Luzon in the next two to three days as a potential cyclone off the coast of eastern Luzon is enhancing the effects of the southwest monsoon (habagat).
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said monsoon rains will be experienced over Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, Antique, Guimaras, and the northern portion of Negros Occidental.
Meanwhile, cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms will prevail over the rest of Luzon and Visayas.
As of Saturday afternoon, the low pressure area (LPA) that is enhancing the impact of habagat was estimated at 975 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.
PAGASA weather specialist Gener Quitlong said the LPA is most likely to develop into a tropical depression today or Monday. Should it intensify, the potential cyclone will be locally called “Hanna,” the first cyclone this month and eighth this year.
While it is not expected to make landfall, he said the trough or extension of the LPA is already bringing scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Bicol, and parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
The LPA is also expected to boost the habagat until Tuesday, bringing light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Metro Manila and western Luzon, Quitlong pointed out.
Due to the incessant monsoon rains, the water level at Angat Dam in Bulacan has increased overnight by more than a meter.
Based on PAGASA’s monitoring, Angat Dam’s water level rose to 167.17 meters on Saturday from 166.02 meters last Friday which is still below the 180-meter minimum operating level and 210-meter normal high water level.
The inclement weather has also caused the cancellation of six international flights and nine domestic flights.