Sea alert could be issued tonight for tropical storm Fitow

MOVING TARGET::The storm had looked off-target, but the bureau said it could move closer if the high-pressure system in the Pacific Ocean intensifies

By Shelly Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 04, 2013 - Page 3

The Central Weather Bureau said yesterday that it may issue a sea alert for tropical storm Fitow tonight, adding that it has the potential to turn into a typhoon.

The name “Fitow” was contributed by the Federated States of Micronesia, and means a beautiful fragrant flower in the Yapese language.

The bureau previously forecast that the storm, which formed on Wednesday, would not affect Taiwan.

However, it said that the storm could move closer to the nation if the high-pressure system in the Pacific Ocean becomes stronger.

As of 5pm yesterday, the center of the storm was 980km southeast of Oluanpi (鵝鑾鼻). It was moving north at 10kph. The radius of the storm had reached 180km.

The bureau said that the maximum wind speed measured near the center of the storm had topped 108kph and it would soon qualify as a typhoon if the wind speed continued to rise.

Forecaster Lin Ding-yi (林定宜) said the bureau could issue a sea alert for the storm either tonight or tomorrow morning.

“It is possible that the storm could turn into a typhoon,” he said.

Based on the bureau’s projected path of movement for Fitow yesterday, the storm would not make landfall and would move through the sea near the nation’s northeastern and northern coasts.

Starting today, chances of showers will be high in the nation’s northern and northeastern regions due to the joint influence of the storm’s passage and the northeast monsoon.

Rainy weather is expected in these two regions over the weekend, the bureau said.

The weather will be relatively stable in the nation’s southeast and other parts of the west coast, Lin said.