'Karen' upgraded to tropical storm


Posted at Sep 11 2012 06:06 PM | Updated as of Sep 12 2012 04:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The state weather bureau has upgraded tropical depression "Karen" into a tropical storm.

According to PAGASA’s 5 p.m. bulletin, the weather disturbance was spotted around 800 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

It is packing winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour (kph) with gusts of up to 80 kph.

No storm signals have been raised in PAGASA’s latest bulletin.

PAGASA earlier said "Karen" is still far to have any direct effect on the country.

It is not expected to make landfall as it moves northward towards Taiwan and southern Japan at a speed of 11 kph.

However, PAGASA said the storm is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon, which may bring heavy rains.

Karen is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility either Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, PAGASA said it is also monitoring a shallow low pressure area (SLPA) 170 kilometers west of Bataan.