MANILA - Tropical cyclone Kong-Rey has intensified into a typhoon ahead of its expected entry to the Philippine area of responsibility on Monday afternoon, the state weather bureau said.
Spotted 1,565 kilometers east of Southern Luzon at 3 a.m., Kong-rey was packing maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and 160 kph gusts, said PAGASA weather forecaster Ariel Rojas.
If it continues moving west northwest at 15 kph, the typhoon will enter the country between 1 and 3 p.m., and will be named Queenie, Rojas told radio DZMM.
The 17th storm to enter PAR this year, Kong-rey is unlikely to hit land and will hover close to Luzon's northern tip, like typhoon Paeng, which caused rough seas in the area over the weekend, added the meteorologist.
Kong-rey's trough or extension will bring cloudy skies and light to moderate rains over Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions. Metro Manila and the rest of the country, meanwhile, will experience fair weather that may be marred by thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening, said Rojas.
Small fishing vessels are prohibited from sailing off Batanes and Babuyan islands, and the northern seaboard of Ilocos Norte due to rough waves, he added.
Kong-rey is expected leave the country on Friday, Rojas said.
Four to 6 more storms are expected to enter the Philippines before the year ends, PAGASA earlier said.
Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for the latest weather updates.