Christmas storm possible as per PAGASA

A low pressure area or potential storm off the Pacific Ocean is moving closer to the Philippines and could bring rains during the Christmas merriment next week, the state weather bureau said Thursday.

The weather system spotted 2,000 kilometers off Mindanao might intensify into the country's 21st storm this year and enter the Philippine area of responsibility before Christmas Eve on Tuesday, said PAGASA weather forecaster Shiela Reyes.

The weather disturbance was still too far for meteorologists to predict its maximum strength.

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Meanwhile, another LPA located 1,020 kilometers east of Mindanao is unlikely to strengthen into a storm for now. However, it will bring heavy rains that can spawn potential floods and landslides in the southern and central Philippines, said Reyes.

Christmas storm Usman, one of the deadliest tropical cyclones of 2018, left 156 dead and damaged some 32,000 houses in parts of Luzon and Visayas, according to the disaster agency.

On Thursday, the easterlies or warm winds from the Pacific will bring isolated thunderstorms in Eastern Visayas and Caraga, and partly cloudy to cloudy skies over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, said PAGASA.

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