'Falcon' leaves PH; monsoon rains continue

Posted at 06/24/2011 11:52 PM | Updated as of 06/25/2011 5:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines – (2nd UPDATE) Tropical storm "Falcon" (international name Meari) left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday, but monsoon rains persisted over large parts of Luzon.

Science and Technology Undersecretary Graciano Yumul told radio dzMM Saturday morning that Falcon left the PAR around 12 midnight.

Yumul explained that rains on Saturday morning were caused by the southwest monsoon or habagat.

He added that moderate to heavy rains (6 to 15 mm per hour rainfall) are expected to hit northern and central Luzon and Metro Manila.

Weather is expected to improve by Saturday afternoon in Metro Manila and by Sunday in northern and central Luzon.

Visayas and Mindanao will experience partly cloudy skies on Saturday, said Yumul.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecaster Jun Galang said on Saturday morning that as of 4 a.m., Falcon was already 590 kilometers north northeast of Basco, Batanes.

Galang told dzMM that the rains on Saturday morning were not due to Falcon.

Rains stopped for around 3 hours early Saturday, but resumed again at around 6 a.m. flooding parts of Manila and Quezon City, according to dzMM field reports.

He said monsoon rains would last until Sunday, after which the weather will improve.

Based on its 5 a.m. advisory, PAGASA said "northern and central Luzon will experience monsoon rains which may trigger flash floods and landslides."

It said "coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough."

Falcon had also intensified with "maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph."

Yumul added that the weather state bureau is monitoring 3 low pressure areas developing near Mindanao.

'Not Ondoy-like'

Nathaniel Servando, acting administrator of weather bureau PAGASA, said on Friday that Falcon brought an estimated 150 mm of rain to Metro Manila for the whole day of Thursday, which is about 20% of the total volume of rains brought by tropical storm Ondoy in 2009.

"We have a new instrument in PAGASA that gives a more accurate estimate of rainfall. Hindi kasing lakas ng Ondoy. Mga 20% lang ng ulan because Metro Manila got about 150 mm of rain. This is still very heavy," he said in a press conference.

Yumul said Ondoy was a different situation because it directly hit Metro Manila and brought southwest monsoons.

“[Ang ulan na] ito ay habagat lamang, dahil ang bagyong Falcon ay nasa Philippine sea,” Yumul said.