“Maria” grew stronger from a severe tropical storm into a super typhoon on Friday and is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or “habagat”—and thus bring heavy rain to the country—once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday, the state weather bureau said.
In its 11 am bulletin Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said “Maria” now has maximum winds of 165 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 205 km/h.
Although it is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines, Pagasa said the international storm— which will be named “Gardo” once it enters the PAR—had “rapidly intensified” and would affect the country with occasional showers and thunderstorms if it maintains its current speed and direction.
“Maria” is at 2,125 kilometers east of Central Luzon, moving north northwest at 15 kilometers per hour, the weather bureau said, as it could enhance the southwest monsoon.
That will bring occasional rain to Western Visayas, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Palawan until Saturday evening, Pagasa said.
Monsoon rain may affect Metro Manila as well as the western parts of Central Luzon, of Calabarzon, and of Mimaropa beginning Sunday, the agency added.
Residents of those regions and provinces to be affected by the southwest monsoon, especially those in low-lying and coastal areas, should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides, Pagasa warned.
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