Wed, Oct 25, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tropical storm expected to skirt nation’s east coast

MARGIN OF ERROR:Tropical Storm Saola, which was moving at 29kph, is not forecast to affect Taiwan and might not even produce any rain if it moves north at sea

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Tropical Storm Saola formed in waters south of Guam at 2pm yesterday, the Central Weather Bureau said, adding that it is expected to come closer to the east coast of Taiwan tomorrow and on Friday.

As of 2pm yesterday, Saola’s center was 2,520km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving northwest at 29kph and had a 100km radius.

Meteorology agencies in different countries have forecast that the storm will move toward Japan, the bureau said.

The storm’s projected path is likely to resemble that of Typhoon Lan, which hit Japan at the weekend.

Like Lan, Saola is expect to skirt Taiwan’s east coast, the bureau said.

Saola is expected to make its approach to the east coast tomorrow and on Friday guided by northeastly winds, Bureau forecaster Lin Po-tung (林柏東) said.

If Saola turns north while it is still far from the coast it would not affect Taiwan’s weather, Lin said, adding that the weather is likely to be dry because of a lack of humidity.

However, if the storm moves slightly west, Saola’s peripheral clouds would likely bring rain to the nation, Lin said.

Saola is expected to move close to Naha in Okinawa Prefecture before moving northeast off the Japanese coast, Taipei-based WeatherRisk Co weather director Chia Hsin-hsing (賈新興) said on Facebook.

Despite forecasts that Saola could move much closer to Taiwan, Chia said that 72-hour weather forecasts from different agencies are expected to be diverse and pose great uncertainties.

“Weather forecasts are made mainly using observational data and computer analysis. Any slight difference can produce completely different results. There is always a margin of error when meteorologists make observations, which can become larger as time goes by. Forecasts from different agencies about the location of the typhoon’s center can vary from 80km within 24 hours to 120km within 48 hours,” Chia said.

The saola, from which the storm takes its name, is a forest-dwelling bovine found only in Indochina’s Annamite Range.

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