Tropical storm “Igme” (international name “Bavi”) has further intensified but may not have a direct impact on the Philippines as it is already on its way outside the country’s area of responsibility.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) spotted the tropical storm at 340 kilometers (kms) north-northeast of Basco, Batanes before noon Saturday, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
Initially a low-pressure area (LPA), the weather disturbance became a tropical depression Friday night, then gradually intensified into a tropical storm Saturday morning. It is the sixth tropical cyclone to enter or form inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this month.
Should it maintain its northwest movement at 10 kph, Igme will likely exit the PAR between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, weather specialist Benison Estareja said another LPA was monitored east of Mindanao but is less likely to become a tropical depression as of Saturday. It was estimated at 295 kms east of Davao City.
Estareja said Igme will slightly enhance the effect of the southwest monsoon or “habagat” over the Northern Luzon and some areas in Central Luzon.
Intermittent gusts may be experienced over Batanes and Babuyan Islands, while light to moderate with at times heavy rains are expected over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Apayao, Zambales, and Bataan.
The LPA east of Mindanao may also bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains.
The public should remain alert against possible flooding and rain-induced landslide during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.
Estareja said those using small boats are prevented from setting sail over the northern and western coasts of Luzon due to moderate to rough seas triggered by the habagat.
The rest of the country will have partly cloudy skies apart from some isolated rain showers in the afternoon or evening due to localized thunderstorms.