The Taiwan Typhoon and Flood Research Institute (TTFRI), a new center that focuses on weather data simulation and advanced observation technology to improve the ability to predict typhoons and floods, began operations in Greater Taichung yesterday.
The institute, which is supported by the National Science Council, said that according to Central Weather Bureau statistics, 408 typhoons struck Taiwan in the past 113 years, with the average of 3.57 typhoons per year.
In the past 40 years, floods brought by typhoons have caused annual damage averaging NT$17.4 billion (US$602 million), or about 0.33 percent of GNP, the institute said.
The TTFRI will establish interdisciplinary laboratories and collaborative projects to do typhoon and flood observation fieldwork, data collection and analyses.
It will focus on providing academic research to government agencies, such as the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction and the weather bureau.
The institute is keen on developing four core technologies: data weather simulation, advanced observation technology, integrated simulation of atmosphere and hydrology, and -quantitative precipitation forecasts, it said.
“The institute can link together the efforts of typhoon and flood specialists from across the country, and the results from Quantitative Precipitation Estimation and Forecast and the Typhoon Numerical Modeling and Ensemble Forecast will then be shared with government authorities responsible for disaster reduction,” TTFRI director Lee Cheng-shang (李清勝) said.
Lee said the information can provide reference for operational assessment, and would be crucial to planning natural disaster prevention strategies and making rescue decisions.
In addition, the institute plans to establish a simulation analysis system to provide more accurate forecasts of rainfall in a three-hour timeframe to better predict whether closing bridges or roads is necessary in a typhoon, the institute said.