Tropical storm Florita (international name: Ma-on) further intensified as it slowly moved closer to northern Luzon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Monday evening, Aug. 22.

PAGASA in its 11 p.m. bulletin said Florita’s location was estimated at 125 kilometers (km) east of Casiguran, Aurora.

It was now packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kph.

PAGASA said Florita will likely intensify into a severe tropical storm ahead of its landfall over Isabela or Cagayan on Tuesday morning, Aug. 23.

“Afterwards, the center of Florita will traverse the rugged terrain of Northern Luzon before emerging over the West Philippine Sea tomorrow evening (Aug. 23) or on Wednesday early morning (Aug. 24),” it said.

Based on its latest forecast track, Florita will likely be in the vicinity of Palanan, Isabela at around 8 a.m., this Tuesday., and over the coastal waters of Burgos, Ilocos Norte at 8 p.m.

Due to the storm’s expected landfall, tropical cyclone wind signal number 2 was hoisted over Cagayan, southern portion of Babuyan Islands, Isabela, Quirino, eastern and central portions of Nueva Vizcaya, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, northern portion of Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and northern and central portions of Aurora.

Signal No. 1 was also hoisted over the rest of Babuyan Islands, the rest of Nueva Vizcaya, the rest of Benguet, La Union, eastern and central portions of Pangasinan, eastern portion of Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, the rest of Aurora, eastern portion of Pampanga, eastern portion of Bulacan, eastern portion of Rizal, northern portion of Quezon, including Polillo Islands, and northern portion of Laguna.

PAGASA warned of “heavy to intense with at times torrential rains”over Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Ilocos Region.

“Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains” may also prevail over Aurora, Zambales, and Bataan, while “light to moderate with at times heavy rains” may affect Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezin, and the rest of Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon.

In the next 24 hours, PAGASA said the southwest monsoon or “habagat” may also bring rains over Southern Luzon and Western Visayas.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/08/22/storm-florita-intensifies-slightly-moves-slowly-towards-northern-luzon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=storm-florita-intensifies-slightly-moves-slowly-towards-northern-luzon)