D-Day: 'Disastrous deluge' set to strike Taiwan today

'Disastrous deluge' due to start today across Taiwan

CWB radar image of Taiwan.

CWB radar image of Taiwan.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Later today (June 13), the beginning of what Taiwanese meteorologist Wu Der-rong (吳德榮) yesterday described as a "disastrous deluge" (致災豪雨) will begin to impact Taiwan and it is expected to last until June 19.

Starting this morning, the eastern and southern halves of Taiwan will start to see showers and thunderstorms, while the rest of Taiwan proper will begin to see cloudy skies. In the early evening, rains will start to steadily increase as a stationary front and southwesterly winds shift toward the north, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

Wu said that southern Taiwan will first feel the impact of the heavy rains before the front spreads to the rest of the country. According to the CWB, as the southwesterly winds strengthen, the rains in southern Taiwan will gradually gain in intensity, therefore people are advised to avoid hiking in the mountains, low-lying areas or near streams, as flash floods are possible. Residents are also advised to beware of lightning strikes and strong wind gusts.

(CWB satellite image)

Wu said that starting today, Taiwan will see severe weather, including lightning, strong winds, heavy rain and hail as the result of what he described as a "small- to medium-sized convective system." He said that if such a convective system continuously circulates over the same area, it will generate a "disastrous deluge."

Such a convective system struck Orchid Island at 12:20 a.m. yesterday morning bringing lightning, powerful winds, and 88 millimeters of rain by 1:20 a.m., more than what all of Taiwan's drainage systems combined could handle, said Wu.

The CWB anticipates that the stagnant front and moist southwesterly winds will linger over Taiwan from now until at least June 19, during which time the weather will be very unstable, with the probability of showers and thunderstorms throughout Taiwan proper. Ocean waves will also be affected by the weather system during this period, with large waves likely in southwestern and southeastern Taiwan, including Orchid Island, Green Island, Hengchun Peninsula and coastal areas of Penghu.

The CWB said that from June 20 to June 22, the stagnant front will gradually shift northward away from Taiwan, but rainy weather is likely to persist as the moist southwesterly winds will continue to blow over the island.

(CNA image)