Tropical storm "Karen" and a new low pressure area (LPA) are expected to enhance the southwest monsoon, bringing rains to Eastern Visayas and parts of Mindanao, the weather bureau said Wednesday.
"The enhancement of habagat will likely result in moderate to heavy rains in Visayas and Mindanao and occasional light to heavy rains in Metro Manila as well as other parts of Luzon," state weather forecaster Jori Loiz said in a phone interview.
He noted, however, that no interaction is expected between Karen and the LPA so far.
"Napakalayo pa nila sa isa't isa (They are too far from each other at present)," Loiz told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.
Both Karen and the LPA are unlikely to make landfall, Loiz said, even as he noted that Karen "has a high chance of gaining typhoon strength before leaving the Philippine area of responsibility."
"Tropical storm Karen over the East Philippine Sea has intensified as it moves northwestward," the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomic Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 11 a.m. update.
Karen now has maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph, Pagasa said.
It was spotted 620 kilometers east of Borongan, Eastern Samar as of 10 a.m. and is forecast to move northwest at 15 kph.
The storm is expected to be at 770 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon Thursday morning; 620 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City Friday morning; and 500 kilometers east of Itbayat, Batanes Saturday morning.
Heavy rainfall (10 to 20 millimeters per hour) is expected within the 550-kilometer diameter of the tropical storm.
"Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboard of Visayas and Mindanao due to tropical storm Karen," Pagasa said.
Meanwhile, Pagasa estimated the LPA at 250 kilometers west of Zambales as of 10 a.m.
The Philippines vowed Thursday to fight China "to the last man standing", as a Chinese warship patrolled around a remote reef occupied by a handful of Filipino marines in disputed waters.