Philippine weather service: 2 to 3 storms may hit this month

A DAY IN THE LIFE. After the laundry is done, evacuees attend to their routinary household chores at Manggahan covered court in Rodriguez, Rizal.

Philippines - Don't let the sun's appearance make you lower your guard.

An active low pressure area (LPA) spotted off Central Luzon may intensify into a storm and enter the country's territory by Monday, while the southwest monsoon will continue to bring rains over several provinces, the state weather bureau said Saturday.

Not only that, two to three more storms are expected to hit the Philippines this month alone and possibly four more next month, said Jori Loiz, senior forecaster at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

"We should not let our defences down in the next few days," Loiz said in a television interview.

New storm

As of 2 p.m. Saturday, the low pressure was observed at 1,020 kilometers east of Central Luzon, but it was still too far to affect any part of the country within the next 24 hours, Pagasa said in an advisory.

Loiz said, however, that there was now a good likelihood that the low pressure would strengthen into a storm. "By Monday, northeastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas may experience the direct effect of the LPA," he said.

Pagasa said the southwest monsoon (or habagat) has weakened, but will continue to bring mostly cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over northern and Central Luzon, particularly in the provinces of Ilocos, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Tarlac and Bulacan.

12 more storms

In an earlier interview, Pagasa Administrator Nathaniel Servando said 12 more storms or typhoons could strike the Philippines in 2012. He said the onset of El Niño toward the later months could mean stronger typhoons.

Annually, an average of about 20 storms hit the Philippines. The latest was Typhoon "Gener," which departed earlier this month. Gener's exit was marked by incessant monsoon rains that submerged large parts of Metro Manila and neighbouring provinces from Aug. 6 to 9.

Servando said storms that enter the country in August, September and October usually hit the eastern seaboards of the Visayas and Luzon, while in the last quarter, they are more likely to strike Northern Mindanao.

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