Signal no. 1 lifted in Batanes, but Ester enhancing monsoon
MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Ester slightly slowed down before dawn on Friday, June 15, as it reached the vicinity of southern Taiwan, which is still included within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
In a bulletin issued 5 am on Friday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Ester is already 325 kilometers north northwest of Basco, Batanes, moving northeast at 13 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 14 km/h.
The tropical depression has maximum winds of 55 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 90 km/h.
Signal number 1, earlier raised in Batanes, has been lifted.
While Ester is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines, it is enhancing the southwest monsoon, which has dumped moderate to heavy rain in Luzon all week.
The southwest monsoon enhanced by Ester will trigger moderate to heavy rain in Batanes, the Babuyan Group of Islands, the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, and Bataan.
It will also bring light to moderate with at times heavy rain to Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, the rest of Cagayan Valley, and the rest of Central Luzon. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Residents of areas affected by the enhanced southwest monsoon should be on alert for floods and landslides.
Sea travel is also risky in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the western seaboard of Central Luzon.
Based on Ester's latest forecast track, it will leave PAR either Friday evening or Saturday morning, June 16, staying inside PAR for just roughly a day.
PAGASA had declared the start of the rainy season last June 8.