MANILA - Leon has intensified into a tropical storm as it moved over the West Philippine Sea, PAGASA said early Wednesday.
In its 5 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said the tropical storm was last spotted moving 225 km west-northwest of Coron, Palawan while packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph, with a speed of 10 kph.
PAGASA said the tropical storm will continue moving west-northwestward until it exits the Philippine area of responsibility Thursday morning, before it turns westward and will head towards Vietnam.
Continuous intensification is likely throughout the forecast period, the state weather bureau said. The weather disturbance is expected to reach severe tropical storm category within 24 hours and typhoon within 48 hours.
No tropical cyclone wind signal is currently in effect but PAGASA said intermittent gusts may be experienced over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Palawan (including Kalayaan, Calamian, and Cuyo Islands), Mindoro Provinces, Romblon, and Western Visayas.
On Thursday, Leon and the southwest monsoon is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over Aurora, Rizal, Palawan (including Kalayaan, Calamian, and Cuyo Islands), Mindoro Provinces, Romblon, Western Visayas, and Negros Oriental.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains meanwhile will be experienced over Bicol Region, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Metro Manila, Isabela, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and the rest of Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Visayas.
PAGASA said flooding and rain-induced landslide may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards.
The weather agency also released a gale warning to residents near the western seaboard of Palawan (including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands) and Occidental Mindoro (including Lubang Island) due to rough to very rough seas, with waves of 2.8 m up to 4.5 m. Sea travel is risky over these areas, it said.
Moderate to rough seas, with waves of 2.8 m up to 4.5 m, will also prevail over the northern, eastern, and southern seaboards of Luzon, and the seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao. Fishers and residents with small seacrafts were advised to take precautions before venturing out to sea over these areas.
Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for updates.