Tue, Jul 05, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Storm could soon grow into typhoon

EARLY STAGES:The director of the Weather Forecast Center said that the storm’s structure is still forming, which is why there are several projected variables

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A couple take a selfie in the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall’s Freedom Plaza in Taipei yesterday under a cloudy sky.

Photo: CNA

Tropical Storm Nepartak could become a typhoon in the next few days, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, adding that it would be able to determine whether the storm will affect Taiwan by tomorrow.

At 2pm yesterday, Nepartak’s center was 2,380km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻) in Pingtung County. It was moving northwest at 28kph, with maximum wind speeds near the center reaching 72kph.

The bureau said that the storm could turn into a typhoon today or tomorrow. It said that the storm was likely to move northwest along the southwest edge of a Pacific high-pressure system, and that it looks like it could come closest to Taiwan on Thursday.

However, the bureau said that the storm’s path is still subject to change.

Bureau forecaster Lin Chih-hui (林智暉) said Nepartak could move northward earlier if the Pacific high-pressure system weakens faster than expected, in which case the storm would have a smaller impact on Taiwan.

If the Pacific high-pressure system slowly weakens, the storm could come closer to Taiwan before moving north, she said.

Cloudy skies are forecast nationwide for Thursday and Friday because of the Nepartak’s circumference, with the expected high temperature dropping to between 32°C and 33°C.

There is a high probability of light showers in the north and northeast of the nation on Thursday, while afternoon thundershowers are forecast for the center and south.

On Friday, scattered showers are forecast nationwide, with more intensive rainfall forecast in the north.

The bureau projected that Nepartak would slowly move away from Taiwan over the weekend, with a high probability of afternoon thundershowers nationwide.

CWB Weather Forecast Center Director Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) posted on Facebook that Nepartak’s structure is still forming, which is why forecasts of its movements could vary greatly.

WeatherRisk supervisor Chia Hsin-hsing (賈新興) said there are several factors that could affect how Nepartak moves, adding that it should become a typhoon by the time it comes closest to Taiwan.

Chia said the bureau had forecast that the radius of the storm could reach 150km to 180km. This shows that Nepartak could become a solid and strong typhoon and could lead to stormy weather if it affects Taiwan directly, he said.

Former television weather forecaster Lee Fu-cheng (李富城) cited statistics from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and other agencies, which he said all projected that Nepartak is moving toward northern Taiwan.

“It is moving in a path that is least favorable to Taiwan, which could bring strong winds and extremely heavy rainfall,” he said.

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