MANILA — Tropical depression “Inday” has intensified into a tropical storm and has slowed down slightly as it continues to move in a north-northwest direction, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Thursday.
PAGASA defines a tropical storm as moderate tropical cyclone with maximum wind speed of 64 to 118 kph (25 to 75 mph).
In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Buddy Javier said that as of 4 a.m. tropical storm “Inday” was spotted 580 km northeast of Basco, Batanes (22.7ºN, 127.8ºE) packed with maximum sustained winds of 75 kph and gustiness of up to 90 kph.
Inday’s continued to move north northwest but slightly decrease its speed from 19 kph on Wednesday afternoon to 17 kph on Thursday morning.
If it maintains its speed and movement, Inday is expected to be out of Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Thursday afternoon or evening as it head towards Japan.
He added Inday is not expected to hit or cross the Philippine landmass and no public storm warning signal has been raise in any part of the country.
However, Javier said tropical storm Inday will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon or “hanging habagat” that will induce occasional rains over Metro Manila, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Cagayan Valley, Bicol region, Western Visayas and the provinces of Zambales and Bataan while Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers.
Due to southwest monsoon, the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms.
Javier said the state weather bureau also issued gale warning — strong to gale force winds associated with the southwest monsoon enhanced by tropical storm Inday — that will affect the eastern seaboard of Luzon and Visayas and the western seaboard of Southern Luzon.
“Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” the agency said.
In its advisory, PAGASA said moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest will prevail over Luzon and Visayas and coming from the south to southwest over Mindanao.
The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough.
Meanwhile, Javier said the weather bureau continues to monitor the another tropical storm (with international name Halong) which still far from the country.
Based on their models as of now, Javier said the tropical storm Halong has slim chance to enter the country.
He said once the tropical storm enters the country it will be named “Jose”, the 10th tropical cyclone this year.
He added that three to four tropical cyclones are expected next month.
Every year, an average of about 18 to 20 storms affect the Philippines.