MANILA. — The low pressure area spotted over east of Mindanao has already developed into a tropical depression as eight provinces in Mindanao were placed under public storm warning signal Number 1, the PhilippineAtmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Monday.

In a interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Buddy Javier said the tropical depression, locally named “Wilma,” is the first cyclone to enter the country this month and the 23rd for the year.

Javier said that as of 4:00 a.m. tropical depression Wilma was located at 180 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao Del Sur (8.5°N, 128.0°E) with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph.

It is forecast to move west northwest at 19 kph.

Kaviet said if Wilma maintains its speed and direction, it is expected to make landfall in Hinatuan on Monday evening.

He added that Wilma is expected to intensify further since it is in the sea.

Javier said that public storm warning signal no. 1 (30-60 kph winds), was hoisted over Dinagat Island, Surigao Del Norte, Siargao Island, Surigao Del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin.

PAGASA said Wilma may bring rainfall of 5 to 15.0 mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within its 300-km diameter.

Wilma is forecast to be at 60 east of Dumaguete City by Tuesday morning.

It is expected to be at 80 km east of Puerto Princesa City by Wednesday morning and by Thursday morning to be at 350 km west of Puerto Princesa City

As Wilma is embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), Javier noted the regions of Caraga, Eastern and Central Visayas, and Northern Mindanao will have cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flashfloods and landslide.

He added that Mimaropa and Cagayan will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms due to the northeast monsoon

Javier said that the rest of Luzon including Metro Manila will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

PAGASA expects two to three cyclones to affect the country this month.

After “Wilma,” PAGASA said the next cyclone that will enter the country will be named “Yolanda.” (PNA)