MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon "Karen" continues to gain strength as it remains over the East Philippine Sea, state weather bureau PAGASA said on Friday morning.
In its 5 a.m. bulletin, PAGASA said Karen was already packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 220 kph.
The typhoon's eye was spotted 740 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan at 4 a.m.
No public storm warning has been raised because the typhoon is far from land.
Karen maintained its north-northwest direction and speed of 15 kph. PAGASA forecaster Buddy Javier said with this speed and direction, the typhoon is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Sunday.
Javier said the typhoon is too far to directly dump rains over any part of the country. However, the typhoon is still expected to enhance the southwest monsoon.
He said the low pressure area spotted east of Zambales has already dissipated.
For Friday, PAGASA said Metro Manila will have cloudy skies that may bring moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms.
Moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region and western Visayas.
The rest of the country will have partly cloudy skies with brief rainshowers or thunderstorms.