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Fabian to enhance monsoon; slowly heads west-northwest

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Severe Tropical Storm Fabian maintained its strength as it slowly made its way west-northwest, state weather bureau PAGASA said Tuesday.

In its 11 p.m. severe weather bulletin, Fabian was last spotted at 1,065 kilometers east-northeast of extreme northern Luzon at 10 p.m.

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Fabian is packing maximum sustained winds of up to 95 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

While Fabian was unlikely to bring heavy rainfall over the Philippines, it would, along with Severe Tropical Storm Cempaka, which was 950 kilometers west of extreme northern Luzon and outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility, enhance the southwest monsoon.

Monsoon rains could thus be expected over the Ilocos, Cordillera Administrative, and Cagayan Valley Regions; as well as over Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan.

Fabian was predicted to further intensify and reach typhoon category by Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Also, Fabian was expected to leave the PAR sometime between Thursday evening and Friday morning. — DVM, GMA News

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