The weather bureau announced the onset of the rainy season as tropical depression “Butchoy” and the southwest monsoon brought more rains to Luzon and the Visayas.

On Facebook today, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that “The occurrence of scattered thunderstorms, tropical depression ‘Butchoy’ and the southwest monsoon (Habagat) during the last five days have brought significant amount of rains over the western sections of Luzon and Visayas.”

The post added, “This satisfies the criteria of the start of the rainy season in the areas affected by Habagat which will continue to experience scattered to widespread rains and thunderstorms in the coming days.”

“Butchoy” is predicted to gain strength and become a tropical storm in the next 24 hours as it moves west-northwestward to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) either tonight or tomorrow morning.

Moderate to heavy rains were forecast over the areas of Bataan, Pangasinan and Zambales, the northern part of Palawan and Occidental Mindoro; and light to even occasional heavy rains in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon and Western Visayas.

At 10:00 a.m., “Butchoy” was spotted at 140 km West Northwest of Iba, Zambales or 165 km West of Dagupan City, Pangasinan with maximum winds of 55 km/h near the center. (Jojo Mangahis)