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TD Ester enhances ‘habagat’, to bring moderate to heavy rains in Luzon

A new tropical depression enhancing the southwest monsoon or habagat was spotted off Batanes province Friday, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The state weather bureau said this is expected to bring heavy rains in Luzon.

In its latest forecast, PAGASA said as of 3:00 a.m., the center of Tropical Depression “Ester” – with international name Gaemi – was estimated based at 320 kilometers north northwest of Basco, Batanes.

It has maximum winds of 55 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 90 km/h. It is moving northeast at 13 km/h.

“Ester” is enhancing the southwest monsoon which has been bringing heavy rains in most parts of Luzon since last week, particularly in the northern and western portions.

Ezra Bulquerin, PAGASA weather specialist, said in a press briefing early Friday “Ester” is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) tonight or Saturday morning.

Bulquerin added there is a possibility that “Ester” can become a tropical storm as it moves outside the PAR.

In its 8 a.m. heavy rainfall warning update, PAGASA said heavy rains with lightning and strong winds due to thunderstorms are expected over Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and Batangas in the next three hours.

The regions of Ilocos, Cordillera and the provinces of Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales will continue to experience rain showers due to the southwest monsoon.

Residents in these areas are warned against possible flooding or landslides due to moderate to occasional heavy rains.

Fishermen are advised against going out into the sea as coastal waters in northern Luzon and the western section of Central Luzon will be rough to very rough, PAGASA said.#