Florita intensifies into severe tropical storm

Rappler.com
Severe Tropical Storm Florita (Prapiroon) and the enhanced southwest monsoon are bringing rain to Luzon

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Satellite image of Severe Tropical Storm Florita (Prapiroon) as of July 1, 2018, 10:30 am. Image courtesy of NOAA

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Florita (Prapiroon) intensified into a severe tropical storm on Sunday morning, July 1, as it continued moving over the northern part of the Philippine Sea.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Sunday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Florita now has maximum winds of 90 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h from the previous 105 km/h.

The severe tropical storm is located 695 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes, moving north northwest at 17 km/h.

Since its direction is upward, Florita will not make landfall in the Philippines. There are also no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals.

But the trough or elongated region of the severe tropical storm is enhancing the southwest monsoon. Scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms are expected in Luzon on Sunday.

Residents of Luzon, especially those in low-lying and mountainous areas, should watch out for possible flash floods and landslides. (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.

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Florita (Prapiroon) as of July 1, 2018, 11 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Meanwhile, the Visayas and Mindanao, which are not affected by Florita and the enhanced southwest monsoon, will also have isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms. Flash floods and landslides are possible, too.

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