(Image grabbed from PAGASA’s Facebook page)

MANILA — “Julian” has intensified into a tropical storm (TS) at 2 p.m. Friday, the weather bureau reported in its 5 p.m. bulletin.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said it expects Julian to continuously intensify throughout the forecast period.

Earlier, weather specialist Ariel Rojas said Julian may become a severe tropical storm by Saturday, and reach the typhoon category by Sunday.

The TS was last tracked 880 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. It packs maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

PAGASA expects Julian to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Monday.

“The raising of tropical cyclone wind signal is unlikely throughout the forecast period. Furthermore, Julian is less likely to directly cause high impact weather over the country,” the bureau added.

Meanwhile, the trough of Julian and the southwest monsoon affecting the Visayas and Mindanao will bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Metro Manila, Calabarzon, the Bicol Region, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Aurora.

The rest of the country will have isolated rain showers caused by localized thunderstorms.

The southwest monsoon is forecast to bring moderate to rough seas over the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon. Small seacrafts are advised to take precautionary measures while venturing out to sea, PAGASA said. (PNA)