Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Winter typhoon to bring heavy rains

OUT OF SEASON Storms of this magnitude are rare this time of year, and this could be the first typhoon to hit the nation in December in meteorological history

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan is expected to be hit by Typhoon Nanmadol today, an unusual storm in wintertime, and heavy rainfall might occur in the northern, northeastern and eastern parts of the country, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

Forecasters said yesterday that southern Taiwan would be affected by the storm early today.

If so, Nanmadol will be the first typhoon striking Taiwan in December in meteorological history.

The bureau had not issued sea and land warnings by 11:30pm, but may issue them early today.

Daniel Wu (吳德榮), deputy director of the bureau's weather forecast center, said that Nanmadol might pass Luzon early this morning and turn north to Taiwan.

Yesterday, both the US and Japan also forecast similar routes of Nanmadol, saying the storm would be approaching from Tai-wan's southern tip.

From this afternoon to tomorrow's morning, strong winds will be experienced in the south.

"However, the typhoon passing through the south might interact with the northeast monsoon, leading to heavy rains in the northern, northeastern and eastern parts of the country," Wu said.

Wu said that today and tomorrow, accumulative rainfall exceeding 200mm might be measured in mountainous regions throughout the north.

In central Taiwan, showers are expected.

To prevent disasters involving mudflows, landslides and flooding, some local emergency relief centers were established and water gates of main rivers yesterday were checked carefully by water resources officials.

A cold air mass could arrive in Taiwan on Monday, which could have an impact on the typhoon. Temperatures are expected to drop significantly on Monday to about 12?C in western coastal areas and 14?C in northern Taiwan.

Forecasters said they could not rule out Nanmadol weakening by Sunday.

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