MANILA – The tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) was lifted even as Tropical Depression Butchoy slightly intensified on Friday, the weather bureau said.

“Butchoy” is packing maximum winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph, heading west-northwest at 25 kph, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 11 a.m. bulletin.

It was last eyed 140 km. west-northwest of Iba, Zambales, or 165 km. west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

PAGASA forecast “Butchoy” to intensify into a tropical storm within 24 hours but also expects it to leave the Philippine area of responsibility either Friday night or Saturday.

Despite the lifting of the TCWS, the bureau said northern and central Luzon, as well as the western part of southern Luzon and the Visayas, may still experience occasional gusts due to the southwest monsoon.

Moderate to heavy rains may still be experienced over Zambales, Bataan, Pangasinan, the northern portion of Palawan, including Calamian and Cuyo Islands, and Occidental Mindoro.

Light to moderate with at times heavy monsoon rains are expected over the rest of Luzon and Western Visayas.

Flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards. (PNA)