'Ester' accelerates northward towards northern limit of PAR — PAGASA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 30) — Tropical Depression Ester is accelerating at 20 kilometers per hour towards the northern limit of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the state weather bureau said Saturday.

In its 11 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ester was estimated at 675 kilometers east northeast of Itbayat, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

No storm warning signal is raised, but PAGASA said Ester and Tropical Storm Songda - which is still outside PAR - are enhancing the southwest monsoon or habagat, which will bring monsoon rains over several provinces in the western sections of central and southern Luzon.

Ester is forecast to move generally northward to northwestward and may exit PAR by Sunday morning or afternoon.

The low pressure area east of extreme Northern Luzon developed into Tropical Depression Ester on Friday.

It is the fifth tropical cyclone to enter the country this year.