MANILA, May 27 The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Friday that typhoon Chedeng (Songda) maintains its strength while in extreme Northern Luzon as it continues to move out of the country.
Robert S. Sawi, officer-in-charge of PAGASA Weather Division, told a press briefing Friday at PAGASA Science Garden along BIR Road, Diliman, Quezon City, that Chedeng was located as of 10 a.m. at 210 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan (coordinates: 18.4°N, 123.8°E) with a maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph, moving north-northwest at 19 kph.
Sawi said that by Saturday morning, Chedeng would be at 290 km. northeast of Basco, Batanes and on Sunday morning at 710 km. northeast of Basco, Batanes or 100 km. south of Okinawa, Japan.
He said Signal No. 2 (60-100 kph winds) is raised over Batanes Group of Islands and Babuyan Group of Islands while Signal No. 1 remains over Apayao, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Aurora. Storm signals elsewhere have been lowered.
Residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under signals #2 and #1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by the tropical cyclone.
Typhoon "Chedeng" is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon and will bring rains over Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The weather division chief stressed that while typhoon Chedeng is moving away from the country, it will trigger the southwest monsoon ("habagat") that will cause rains amounting to 100 millimeters over Northern Luzon, western part of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Metro Manila.
Sawi also said they are closely monitoring what they expect as a formation of a low pressure area (LPA) on the South China Sea at the western side of Luzon or at the Palawan area and Southern Luzon. It is not, however, expected to develop into a tropical depression.
Engr. Catalino L. Davis, acting administrator for administration and engineering services, meanwhile, explained that for the last few days, climatological manifestations of the start of rainy season have been observed.
These include the appearance of the heat lows or convective activities dominating most of the Asian continent; an elongated area of low pressure (monsoon trough) with its axis extending towards south China sea and northern Philippines; early morning and late afternoon rainshowers and thunderstorms and the progression of southwesterly windflow over western Visayas and Luzon as generated by the cross equatorial wind, he said.
He added that the occurrence of Chedeng intensely enhanced the southwesterly windflow as it moves north towards southern Japan.
This eventuality triggered the total setting-in of the southwest monsoon season with its associated rains over the western section of the country, Davis further said.
The acting administrator clarified that it is, however, anticipated that some breaks in the rain event (called monsoon breaks) will occasionally occur as the North Pacific high pressure ridge strengthens. This situation usually occurs before the peak of rainy season during the month of July. The rainy season will start receding towards the end of September.
On tropical cyclones to enter the Philippine area of responsibility, Sawi said they expect 18 to 21 tropical disturbance this year. (PNA) scs/FFC/magi