It is getting right in the middle of this year’s typhoon season, with the eighth such tropical depression coming into being inside the Philippine area of responsibility just this Sunday, becoming the second to do so in July alone. By the following day the weather disturbance, dubbed “Henry” by PAGASA, has moved closer to the northern part of the main island of Luzon, with its presence exacerbating the already ongoing southwest monsoon that has brought day after day of heavy rains on end. Already the national weather bureau has raised Tropical Storm Warning 1 in parts of the country, alongside announcements of classes being suspended.
ABS-CBN News has it that Tropical Depression Henry has been clocked at having maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers an hour, with a gustiness of 65 km/h as of this Monday, July 16. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration also placed Henry some 530 kilometers due east – and closing – of Calayan municipality in the Babuyan Islands group, north offshore of Cagayan province, according to PAGASA forecaster Samuel Duran.
Storm Signal Number 1 was raised at the Babuyan Island Group, as well as the northern coastal portions of the provinces of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and northern Apayao. Within the next 36 hours, PAGASA projects winds in the area to double in speed from about 30 km/h to 60 km/h. In addition, low-lying areas in Luzon such as Cavite, Batangas and even Batanes have been issued a “Yellow” rainfall warning.
As said earlier, interaction between Tropical Depression Henry and the southwest monsoon will result in a spate of heavy rains this week, ranging in scope from Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, and Batangas, up to down south in Mindoro, Western Visayas and even Palawan. To that end, cancellations of classes in all school levels were announced in certain cities and municipalities in Bataan, Cavite and Occidental Mindoro, along with Barangay Dampalit in Malabon, Metro Manila.
Based on its current movement speed of about 25 km/h, Henry is estimated to exit the PAR and go on into the West Philippine Sea by Tuesday, July 17. Other than Calayan in Babuyan, a possible landfall is also anticipated in Batanes. PAGASA is warning that at least two more tropical storms might stir up within the PAR before July is out.
Image courtesy of PAGASA