The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a sea warning for Typhoon Jelawat early yesterday morning, forecasting increasing wind and rainfall in northern and eastern Taiwan from yesterday.
The sea alert for Jelawat was issued at 2:30am yesterday as the storm moved closer to the nation’s southeastern coast. By 5:30pm, the center of Jelawat was located 380km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 14kph and its radius has expanded from 200km to 250km.
The bureau forecast that the typhoon would turn northeast when it enters the sea area near the nation’s east coast.
Bureau forecaster Hsieh Ming-chang (謝明昌) said the typhoon had weakened a little. He said the bureau expected that the outer skirt of the storm was unlikely to reach Taitung, Hualien or Yilan counties, making it less likely that a land alert would need to be issued.
Nevertheless, there would be a high chance of heavy to extremely heavy rainfall today in the northern, northeastern, eastern and southeastern regions, he added.
The bureau said extremely torrential rain, in which accumulated rainfall exceeds 350mm within 24 hours, could occur in Yilan County, New Taipei City (新北市) and Hualien County today.
Residents in Taoyuan County and Taipei are likely to experience a torrential downpour, in which the accumulated rainfall could top 200mm within 24 hours.
Hsieh added that the typhoon could cause severe damage to Orchid Island, or Lanyu (蘭嶼), which has yet to fully recover from the devastation caused by typhoon Tembin last month.
Hsieh said the bureau had measured 11m high waves in Lanyu and that its observation station there had also detected strong winds reaching level 16 on the Beaufort scale.
The strong winds and high waves also caused flight carriers and shipping service operators to cancel their services to Green Island and Lanyu. In addition, schools and government offices on the island were closed at 4pm yesterday.
Those planning to observe the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition of looking at the moon on Sunday may still be able to do so this year, as Hsieh said the typhoon is forecast to pick up speed and move away from Taiwan tomorrow.