The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said that northern parts of the nation would start seeing the effects of Tropical Storm Trami passing nearby today.
As of 5pm yesterday, the center of the storm was 800km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest and beginning to accelerate from 12kph to 17kph. The maximum wind speed reached 30m per second, with the radius of the storm topping 100km.
The bureau estimated that a sea alert for Trami could be issued this morning and a land alert could be issued this afternoon or this evening if the storm’s direction remains unchanged.
The bureau said the storm had begun to turn around yesterday and would move toward northern Taiwan after it finishes turning this morning. The storm will move faster after it finishes turning because of the guiding airstream ahead of it, the bureau said.
Although the storm’s power is expected to continue increasing, the bureau forecast that the growth in power would be very limited because the sea temperature near the storm is not very high. The speed of the gust measured near the storm’s center could potentially increase to between 108kph and 118kph, which is between the high end of the gust speed standard for a tropical storm and the low end of the gust speed standard for a typhoon.
Based on the bureau’s forecast, the storm will pass through the area near the north coast, adding that it is likely to make landfall at the northeast coast.
Daniel Wu (吳德榮), former director of the bureau’s weather forecast center, said that northern Taiwan could expect strong winds and heavy rain if the storm’s center passes through Keelung and the Penchia Islet (彭佳嶼).
If that happens, he said, the storm could bring in the northwest wind to the nation’s northern and western regions and cause severe flooding in these two areas.
He said that the storm’s circumfluence would affect the weather in Taiwan today. Starting tomorrow, rainfall will occur nationwide as the storm moves closer.
Although the rain in northern Taiwan might ease after Trami moves away on Thursday, he said that the southwest monsoon might continue bringing rainfall in the central and southern parts of the country. The rainfall brought by the southwest monsoon might not ease until Friday, he added.
The bureau said that people living in low-lying areas must be prepared for the occurrence of flooding and seawater encroachment.
The bureau also yesterday activated the Dropwindsonde Observations for Typhoon Surveillance near the Taiwan Region project to observe Trami’s movement.
The bureau said that the project’s C130-model aircraft took off from Taichung International Airport at 5pm yesterday. The aircraft flew to about 13km in altitude and collected information about the storm through the use of dropwindsondes, airborne sensors.
According to the bureau, the information would be transmitted from dropwindsondes to the aircraft, which would be sent back to Taiwan through satellite phones.
The project was launched in 2003.
Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is currently in the Caribbean, will cut short his transit stop in Los Angeles and return to Taiwan early tomorrow out of concern for possible storm damage to the country, Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said.
Ma will arrive home at 6:30am tomorrow, she said.
Ma, who was in Basseterre, the capital of Saint Kitts and Nevis, on Sunday on the last leg of a five-nation diplomatic tour, was originally scheduled to return to Taiwan at 2pm on Thursday.
Additional reporting by CNA