Tue, Sep 25, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Typhoon Jelawat might prevent moon-viewing

MID-AUTUMN BLUES:How close the typhoon comes will be determined by the formation of a tropical storm, but rain is likely in the north and northeast during the festival

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese may not be able to gaze at the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival this year because Typhoon Jelawat is forecast to approach the nation’s east coast on the weekend.

The Central Weather Bureau said yesterday that Jelawat had strengthened yesterday morning.

As of 2pm, the center of the typhoon was 1,180km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) and was moving northwest at 11kph. The radius of the storm was 200km.

Bureau forecaster Chen Wei-liang (陳維良) said Jelawat would start affecting the weather in Taiwan on Friday.

“We estimate the typhoon will pass through the sea area near the nation’s east coast,” Chen said. “How close it will come to land areas remains to be seen because a tropical depression is in the process of turning into a tropical storm,” Chen said.

“The development of the tropical depression and the speed at which it moves northward will all be factors that affect Jelawat’s distance from Taiwan,” Chen said.

According to the bureau, the tropical depression is off the northwest coast of Guam. It was moving northwest at 15kph.

The bureau said it would be in a better position to determine Jelawat’s path today.

Those planning to observe the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition of gazing at the moon on Sunday may be disappointed because the bureau forecast that the chances of rain will be high in the northern and northeastern regions.

Chances of afternoon showers will also be high in central and southern Taiwan, but the thick clouds in these regions would prevent the residents from watching the moon at night.

Today, the northeast monsoon will continue to affect the weather in the northern, northeastern, eastern and southeastern regions, as well as on the outlying islands of Matsu and Kinmen, increasing the chances of showers.

Residents in central and southern regions are likely to see afternoon thundershowers.

Cloudy skies are forecast for Penghu.

Starting today, stronger waves are also forecast along the coast off the Hengchun Peninsula, as well as in the southeast and the east.

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