MANILA - A low pressure area is preventing typhoon Gardo and the habagat or southwest monsoon from dumping rains in Luzon, the weather bureau said Monday.
At 10 a.m., Gardo was 1,165 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 200 kilometers per hour and 245 kph gusts, said PAGASA weather division chief Dr. Dr. Esperanza Cayanan.
Gardo (international name: Maria) is supposed to be enhancing the habagat, but an LPA is pulling the southwest monsoon and preventing its rains from reaching the western section of Luzon. The monsoon rains are affecting only Mimaropa and Visayas for now, she told reporters.
The LPA, however, may weaken by Tuesday or Wednesday as Gardo moves north, which will allow the typhoon to enhance the habagat, Cayanan said.
'NOT A SUPER TYPHOON'
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in the Pacific classified Maria as a "super typhoon", while the Japan Meteorological Agency described it as a "violent" storm.
PAGASA, however, has not classified Gardo as a super typhoon, which should have top sustained winds of 220 kph under local standards, said Cayanan.
Gardo, she added, is weaker and smaller than super typhoon Yolanda, which whipped the central islands with 230 kph winds in 2013, claiming at least 6,200 lives.
Gardo is also unlikely to hit land. If it continues moving at 30 kph, it will leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday and head to China, she said.
The weather has forced the cancellation of classes in several areas.
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