A tropical depression east of the Philippines could turn into a tropical storm, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.
The bureau said the depression formed at 2am yesterday and was about 1,930km from Taiwan, adding that the system was moving northwest and has the potential to become a tropical storm.
If this occurs, the bureau said that it would be named Utor, which means “squall line” in Marshallese.
Weather forecaster Liu Jen-wei (劉人瑋) said the storm’s movement would be determined by the strength of a high-pressure system in the Pacific.
“If the high-pressure system is strong, the storm will continue to move west. If the high-pressure system is weak, the storm is likely to move northwest,” she said.
The approaching storm could help ease the hot temperatures that the nation has been experiencing all week. On Thursday, thermometers in Taipei reached 39.3°C, the highest temperature recorded in the city since records began 117 years ago.
Temperatures in Taipei yesterday peaked at 37.9°C at 11:14am. Temperatures of 37.2°C were recorded in Banciao, 36.1°C in Tamsui and 35°C Hsinchu.
Liu said temperatures had fallen slightly because of an increase in cloud cover.
Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典), director of the bureau’s weather forecast center, said the high-pressure system in the northern hemisphere’s subtropical zone is very strong this year. He said that a lack of clouds and a relatively stable weather system have helped drive up temperatures.