The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said it might issue land and sea warnings for Tropical Storm Lekima today as its projected path moves closer to Taiwan.
As of 2pm yesterday, Lekima’s center was 940km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 9kph and its radius had expanded to 180km.
The bureau forecast that it could strengthen into a typhoon some time between last night and today.
Aside from Lekima, there are two other tropical storms in the Pacific Ocean: Francisco and Krosa.
Krosa formed northwest of Guam at 2pm yesterday and was moving northwest at 11kph.
So far, only Lekima is likely to pose a direct threat to Taiwan, the bureau said.
The latest forecast from the bureau showed that the storm’s path was moving further west toward Taiwan, with the center moving closer to the nation’s northeast coast.
The bureau could issue a sea warning for Lekima this morning and a land warning at night, forecaster Chang Cheng-chuan (張承傳) said.
Asked whether Lekima would become a so-called “northwest typhoon,” referring to typhoons passing through the narrow waters between Keelung and Pengjia Islet (彭佳嶼), Chang said it was too early to say, because Lekima was still 900km away.
Northwest typhoons often result in heavy damage, because the northwest winds bring continuous rainfall to the nation’s northern and western regions.
Because the northwest winds form a vertical angle with the coastline, it often causes flooding and even saltwater intrusion in low-lying areas, the bureau said.
Northern and northeastern regions, as well as Yilan and Hualien counties, would start being affected by the rain and wind brought by Lekima by tomorrow afternoon, Chang said, adding that northern and central Taiwan would be under its influence all day on Friday.
Lekima is forecast to move away from Taiwan by Saturday morning, he said.
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