NEW BRIDGE, Workers install steel bars on the Imus toll bridge in Imus City, Cavite as part of the ongoing construction of an additional lane on both sides of the structure on Wednesday (May 18, 2022). The bridge construction is under the “Build, Build, Build” program of the government with the supervision of the Department of Public Works and Highways. (MNS photo)

MANILA, May 19 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Wednesday afternoon officially declared the start of the rainy season.

In a statement, PAGASA administrator Vicente Malano said intermittent rains associated with the southwest monsoon or habagat will begin to affect Metro Manila and the western section of the country.

He added that monsoon breaks (or breaks in rainfall events) are still likely and could last for days or weeks.

According to PAGASA, the presence of the frontal system, and the occurrence of severe thunderstorms have brought widespread rains in the last five days in areas under Type I climate and other parts of the country.

A province is considered to have a Type I climate if there is a distinct dry and a wet season; wet from June to November and dry, the rest of the year.

“The southwesterly windflow was also observed in the past few days. “This satisfies the criteria of the start of the rainy season over the western sections of Luzon and (the) Visayas,” the statement read.

La Niña may still affect some parts of the country, which may increase the likelihood of above-normal rainfall conditions in the coming months, added PAGASA.

PAGASA forecaster Obet Badrina said that during the rainy season, people could expect rains most likely in the afternoon and evening.

No weather disturbance is expected this week, Badrina added.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the frontal system and the southwesterly surface windflow are causing rains over parts of Luzon, particularly in Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Region, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Bataan, Zambales, Pampanga, and Bulacan.

Badrina advised residents of these areas to always bring an umbrella. The rest of Luzon, he said, will have fair weather with isolated rains. (MNS)