Satellite track of “Leon” (Image grabbed from PAGASA’s Facebook page)
MANILA – Even if Tropical Storm Leon is moving away from the country, it is enhancing the southwest monsoon, bringing rains in most parts of the country, a weather specialist said on Wednesday.
In its 11 a.m. severe weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Leon was last tracked 330 kilometers west-northwest of Coron, Palawan, and has slightly accelerated, moving west northwestward at 15 kms. per hour.
It packs maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center, and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
Due to the enhanced southwest monsoon, moderate to heavy rains will prevail over Aurora, Palawan (including Calamian, Cuyo, and Kalayaan Islands), Mindoro provinces, and Western Visayas.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be experienced over eastern Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Metro Manila, Region 4-A (Calabarzon), Bicol Region, Mindanao, and the rest of Central Luzon, Mimaropa, and Visayas.
PAGASA weather specialist Chris Perez said Leon may reach the severe tropical storm category within 24 hours.
“It has a low chance to make landfall, and is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday,” he added.
Perez warned that flooding and landslide may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.
Gale warning is still in effect over the western seaboards of Palawan (including Kalayaan Islands), Occidental Mindoro, Batangas, and Pangasinan, and the seaboard of Zambales due to rough to very rough seas. Sea travel is risky over these areas.
Elsewhere, coastal waters will be moderate to rough. Those with small seacraft are advised to take precaution, PAGASA said. (PNA)