Three to five storms expected to hit Taiwan this summer

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Three to five tropical storms or typhoons could strike Taiwan in the coming months while up to 32 storms might form in the northwestern Pacific, the Central Weather Bureau said on Tuesday. As of the end of June, seven tropical storms had formed in the region this year, higher than the average of 4.3 storms in years past, said Cheng Ming-dean, director of the bureau's Weather Forecast Center. Based on current analysis and predictions, the sea surface temperature over the tropical east and central Pacific shows a warming trend, which indicates that the disruptive weather phenomenon known as El Nino will develop during the months to come, Cheng said. Under the impact of El Nino, Cheng said, tropical storms over the region tend to form far off Taiwan, which means they are likely to be relatively stronger when they reach the island. To get the most up-to-date storm information, one can go to the CWB web site at, or dial 167 for an English weather forecast. During the period when a storm warning is issued, live weather broadcasts will be available on the CWB website at 6:40 a.m., 8:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 2:40 p.m., 5:40 p.m., 8:40 p.m., and 11:40 p.m. every day. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)