SUPER typhoon “”Mawar (local name Betty) slightly weakened as it continued to approach the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the state weather bureau reported late Friday night.

As of 10 p.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the center of the eye of Mawar was estimated at 1,475 kilometers east of Central Luzon with maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 250 kph as it moved west northwestward at 25 kph.

According to Pagasa, strong to typhoon-force winds extend outwards up to 570 kms from the center.

The weather bureau forecasts that Mawar will enter the PAR region early Saturday morning.

On the track forecast, the super typhoon will continue accelerating west northwestward until Saturday before gradually decelerating on Sunday while maintaining its direction.

On Monday, Pagasa said Mawar will move slowly northwestward over the waters east of Batanes and may become almost stationary, then turn north northeastward on Wednesday.

It said that Mawar is forecast to remain as a super typhoon Friday night until the weekend, although the chance of slight weakening still remains.

However, this tropical cyclone may weaken at a faster rate beginning on Monday during its slowdown period due to potential unfavorable conditions although it is expected to remain as a typhoon by the end of the forecast period. — Franco Jose C. Baroña