The Central Weather Bureau yesterday issued sea and land warnings for Tropical Storm Mitag, saying that the storm is likely to be upgraded to a typhoon when it comes close to the nation today.
As of 8pm yesterday, Mitag’s center was 710km southeast of Taipei.
It was moving northwest at 22kph, with maximum wind speeds of 101kph, bureau data showed. The radius of the storm had expanded to 150km.
The storm is forecast to move toward the nation’s southeast coast today, bureau Weather Forecast Center specialist Hsieh Ming-chang (謝明昌) said.
Waves off the nation’s eastern and southeastern coasts are likely to become stronger, particularly from this afternoon to tomorrow morning, when the storm would come closer to the nation.
Hsieh said Mitag is likely to be upgraded to a typhoon by the time it starts affecting northern Taiwan, adding that “hotspots” for rainfall from this afternoon to tomorrow morning are in the northern and northeastern regions.
These regions are likely to experience extremely heavy rainfall, which means that accumulated rainfall within 24 hours could reach 200mm.
Residents in low-lying areas might experience flooding due to the combined effects of heavy rainfall and spring tides, the bureau said.
At 10pm last night, the governments in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Keelung and Hsinchu County announced that today would be a typhoon day.
However, as of 9:20pm, the governments in Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Chiayi City, as well as Changhua, Yunlin, Nantou, Chiayi and Pingtung counties had announced that offices and schools would be open today.
Former Weather Forecast Center director Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said Mitag would move away from Taiwan tomorrow before heading toward South Korea.
Even through the storm’s center appears likely to remain offshore, Wu said that he does not exclude the possibility that it might make landfall.
People should not underestimate the threat the storm poses to the northern and northeastern regions, he said.
From last night to tomorrow morning, Mitag’s circumfluence is expected to bring heavy rain to windward areas, particularly the mountainous areas in the north as well as the nation’s northeast coast, Wu said.
Residents in northern and northeastern regions should be aware of the damage caused by strong winds, he said.
Cloudy skies to showers are forecast for Hualien and Taitung, although residents in Hualien might still experience heavy rainfall, he added.
Meanwhile, heavy rainfall is forecast for the mountainous areas in central Taiwan, he said.
As Mitag is to move away from Taiwan tomorrow afternoon, rainy to cloudy skies are forecast for the northern region, Wu said.
Chances of showers would remain high in the mountainous areas in central and southern Taiwan, as well as in Hualien and Taitung, he said.
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