As Christmas approaches, a low pressure area  (LPA) or brewing storm at the Pacific Ocean is moving closer and may hit the country by next week, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

PAGASA said the LPA was last seen 2,000 kilometers off Mindanao and might strengthen into the 21st storm of the country this year. It may enter the Philippine area of responsibility before Christmas Eve on Tuesday. 

However, the weather disturbance was still too far for meteorologists to predict its maximum strength. 

In the meantime, the other LPA located 1,020 kilometers east of Mindanao may not intensify into a storm. However, it will bring heavy rains that can spawn potential floods and landslides in the southern and central Philippines, PAGASA said. 

In 2018, Christmas storm Usman became a deadly tropical cyclone of the year, leaving 156 dead and damaging some 32,000 houses in parts of Luzon and Visayas, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. 

The weather bureau said 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.


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