Commuters use their umbrellas during a downpour along Taft Avenue, Manila, July 13, 2023. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

By Adrian H. Halili, Reporter

A CLOUD cluster outside of the Philippine area of responsibility (LPA) has developed into a low-pressure area (LPA), while water levels in Angat Dam and some others reached their critical levels, the state weather bureau said on Wednesday.

Addressing the climate forum of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), state weather specialist Loriedin dela Cruz-Galicia said that the LPA was last seen 1,255 kilometers east of southeastern Mindanao.

“We are not ruling out the possibility that it will develop into a tropical depression after emerging in the waters east of Luzon,” she said.

If the weather disturbance develops into a tropical depression, it would be named “Aghon,” marking it as the first of the year.

It is expected to make landfall in the Philippine area last night (May 22) or Thursday morning.

She said that the LPA may make landfall over the Bicol or Eastern Visayas areas by Friday or Saturday.

PAGASA also predicted that the LPA could recurve over the Philippine Sea and develop into a tropical depression by Friday or Saturday.

The storm is expected to bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Southern Luzon and Eastern Visayas. It had warned of possible flash floods or landslides.

Managers of Angat Dam in Bulacan province are hoping rains would reach at least Quezon province, a critical watershed of the dam.

The water level at Angat Dam was 180.07 meters as of Wednesday morning, below the normal high-water level of 212 meters.

Angat Dam is the main source of water for Metro Manila and nearby provinces, accounting for about 90% of potable water.

The water level for Ipo Dam was below its normal level of 101.1 meters at 99.64 meters, while La Mesa Dam was at 75.16 meters, below the normal level of 80.15 meters.

PAGASA reported that Ambuklao Dam had a water level of 742.39 meters, lower than its normal 752 meters.

Binga Dam was at 566.4 meters and San Roque Dam was at 226.97 meters; both dams were also below their normal operational levels.

Pantabangan and Magat Dam had a water level of 174.29 meters and 177.65 meters, which was lower than the normal level of 221 meters and 193 meters, respectively.

Caliraya Dam had a reservoir water level of 284.81 meters as of early Wednesday.

Earlier, the weather agency said that the country is expecting two tropical cyclones this month as the climate transitions to La Niña.