The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday it is likely to issue a sea alert for Fanapi this evening, adding that the former tropical storm had evolved into a typhoon.
As of 8pm yesterday, the center of Fanapi was about 700km east off the coast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻), Pingtung County. It was moving northeast at 7kph.
CWB forecaster Wang Jun-sian (王君賢) said the maximum wind speed near the center of the typhoon was 33m per second.
“We estimate that high air pressure over the Pacific Ocean will become stronger on Saturday, which would push Fanapi further west toward Taiwan at a faster speed,” Wang said. “In that case, Taiwan’s east coast will be under direct threat from the typhoon.”
Wang said the bureau is likely to issue a sea alert for ships operating off the northern and northeastern coasts this evening or early tomorrow morning. As to when the bureau will issue a land alert, Wang said the bureau would have to monitor the development of the storm to determine the best time to do so.
According to the bureau’s forecasts, the typhoon could potentially make landfall on the east coast between Yilan and Hualien, before moving across Taiwan and into the Taiwan Strait.
The US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center projected that Fanapi, the Micronesian name for “sandy islands,” would make landfall southeast of Taipei on Sunday.
Wang said the force of the high air pressure will also determine how the typhoon moves toward Taiwan, adding that if the high air pressure is not as strong as expected, the typhoon will move toward the northeast coast. Nevertheless, the circumfluence will start affecting the weather tomorrow, with the chances of showers high in the nation’s northern and northeastern regions, he said.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg