Florita intensifies into tropical storm

Rappler.com
Tropical Storm Florita (Prapiroon) has maximum winds of 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h

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Satellite image of Tropical Storm Florita (Prapiroon) as of June 29, 2018, 10:30 am. Image courtesy of NOAA

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Florita intensified into a tropical storm on Friday morning, June 29. It has been given the international name Prapiroon.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Friday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Tropical Storm Florita now has maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h from the previous 60 km/h.

The tropical storm is already 860 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, still moving northwest at a relatively slow 11 km/h.

Since its direction is upward, Florita will not make landfall in the Philippines and it does not have any direct effect on the country. There are also no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals.

But PAGASA warned that the tropical storm will enhance the southwest monsoon, which will bring rain to Extreme Northern Luzon this weekend. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Based on its latest forecast track, Florita is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Sunday morning, July 1.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Florita (Prapiroon) as of June 29, 2018, 11 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

In the meantime, isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms will continue to affect the Philippines on Friday. The public should watch out for light to heavy rain which may trigger flash floods and landslides.

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PAGASA had declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com