Tue, May 10, 2011 - Page 1 News List

West coast to remain dry, weather bureau forecasts

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

The clouds above Orchid Island thicken yesterday afternoon as Tropical Storm Aere approaches.

Photo: CNA

A water shortage in western Taiwan could persist as the first tropical storm to approach the nation this year is unlikely to affect regions beyond the east coast, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.

The bureau issued a sea warning for Tropical Storm Aere at 5:30am yesterday. As of 5:30pm, the center of Aere was 510km off the southeast coast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northeasterly at 18kph and the radius of the storm was 150km.

Bureau forecaster Wu Wan-hua (伍婉華) said Aere weakened slightly after it made landfall in the Philippines yesterday afternoon.

She said the bureau estimated that Aere would probably continue on a northeasterly track after entering the Bashi Channel, adding that the storm could come close to the nation’s east coast today.

Wu also said a Pacific high--pressure system was expected to gradually weaken, which would cause the storm to move further east.

The chances of Aere directly hitting Taiwan were small, she added.

“If the high-pressure system gains strength and Aere slows down after it enters the Bashi Channel, the storm could then move closer to Taiwan,” Wu said. “However, even if that happens, the storm’s outer ring would only skim the nation’s east coast, where precipitation would be the strongest. Rain on the west coast would be very limited.”

Information provided by the bureau showed that the highest amount of rainfall yesterday occurred in Hualien, Taitung and the Hengchun Peninsula.

While Aere has brought rain to the east coast, it has had little impact on the west coast, which experienced sunny skies yesterday, with the temperature in Taipei hitting 35.1oC at noon.

Meanwhile, daytime temperatures in Greater Taichung and Greater Tainan reached 33.7oC and 33.8oC respectively, the weather bureau said.

Partly cloudy to sunny skies are expected to continue along the west coast until Thursday, but beginning on Friday the chance of rain will be high nationwide as a stationary front approaches.

Lin Hsiu-wen (林秀雯), deputy director of the bureau’s forecast center, said the stationary front was unlikely to bring heavy and sustained rains because of a lack of humidity from the south and a solid low pressure system.

Last month, the bureau forecast that the heavier plum rain season would not arrive until the end of this month.

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