Fri, Aug 23, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Storm alerts expected

STRENGTHENING:A CWB forecaster said that Bailu would bring showers and thundershowers to all of Taiwan, particularly in eastern and southern parts

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The projected path of Tropical Storm Bailu crosses Taiwan in a Central Weather Bureau graphic.

Graphic provied by the Central Weather Bureau

Sea and land alerts for Tropical Storm Bailu could be issued today as it approaches the southeast coast, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.

As of 2pm, the center of the typhoon was 1,120km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 16kph with maximum sustained winds of 72kph and a radius of 100km.

Bailu is to approach the east coast and the Bashi Channel tonight, bureau forecaster Chu Mei-ling (朱美霖) said.

The circumfluence would bring intermittent rainfall to the east coast during the day today, while the west coast is to see cloudy to sunny skies with the potential for afternoon thundershowers in some places, she said.

The bureau could issue a sea alert before noon and possibly a land alert by tonight, she said.

“This storm has quite a high chance of making landfall. Based on our projected path, it will gradually approach the nation tonight,” Chu said. “As Taiwan will be under its influence all day tomorrow, showers and thundershowers are forecast nationwide, particularly in the eastern and southern regions. Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall is also forecast nationwide.”

Although Bailu was strengthening, the bureau does not expect it to develop into a typhoon, she said.

However, the storm’s radius is expected to expand to 150km, affecting all of Taiwan proper and the Bashi Channel, Chu said, advising people in northern and central Taiwan to be on alert.

Rain is expected to ease on Sunday as Bailu moves away, although its circumfluence would still bring intermittent rainfall to central and southern Taiwan, Chu said.

The Pacific high-pressure system’s influence has expanded westward, giving Bailu a strong guiding airstream to approach the east coast and Bashi Channel, Weatherrisk Explore chief executive Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明) said.

Paths projected by weather services worldwide have an average deviation exceeding 200km, meaning that the storm could make landfall in Yilan, Hualien or Taitung counties, Peng said.

Tickets sold for ferry services from Taitung and Pingtung to Orchid Island would not be honored between today and tomorrow, the booking Web site EZ boat said.

Bailu could be the first storm in two years to make landfall, he said, adding that the nation should use its highest standards to prepare.

“We cannot let our guard down because it is only a tropical storm. Casualties caused by natural disasters are not strongly correlated with intensity,” Peng said.

Ferry services from Taitung County to Green Island and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼) would be suspended from this afternoon through tomorrow and a bike festival scheduled for tomorrow in Taitung’s Guanshan Township (關山) has been postponed.

Additional reporting by CNA

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