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Trifecta of tropical storms swirl around Taiwan, heavy rain expected for week

Hector joins trifecta of tropical storms swirling around Taiwan, heavy rain expected for 7 days

Infrared satellite image of NW Pacific. (NOAA image)

Infrared satellite image of NW Pacific. (NOAA image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Tropical Storm Hector forms, joining a trifecta of tropical storms in the northwestern Pacific region, which will combine with a low-pressure zone to bring heavy rain to Taiwan for the coming week.

Central weather Bureau (CWB) forecaster Cheng Chuan-fang (程川芳) said a low-pressure system near the Ryukyu islands is very close to Taiwan and by Wednesday could merge with Tropical Storm Leepi to become a larger storm, while the 17th tropical storm of the year, "Hector," has formed and entered the northwest Pacific Ocean at 2 a.m. today.

Tropical Storm Hector joins Tropical Storms Leepi and Tropical Storm Bebinca to crowd the northwest Pacific. According to the CWB, southwestern winds, showers and thunderstorms in southern and central Taiwan will continue throughout the day today. Other parts of Taiwan will see local brief showers or thunderstorms.

Trifecta of tropical storms swirl around Taiwan, heavy rain expected for week
CWB map showing paths of three tropical storms in northwest Pacific region.

Although the development of heat convection will become more obvious in the afternoon, rain will not be limited to that time of day, with the evening and early morning also likely seeing showers.

The CWB predicts that high temperatures will range between 32 and 35 degrees Celsius, with Miaoli, Yilan and Hualien at risk of seeing the mercury climb up to 36 degrees. When the rain is not falling, these areas will feel muggy and people are advised to apply sunscreen and stay hydrated.

From Thursday though next Monday, Taiwan will be affected by a low-pressure zone, bringing showers and thunderstorms to western and northeastern Taiwan. The rest of Taiwan will also see local heavy rain, with southern and central Taiwan to also see significant rainfall.

As for the position of the three tropical storms, Leepi is moving northwest of Taipei, Bebinca is stranded on the surface of the sea 990 kilometers southwest of Taipei, and Hector is about 5,750 kilometers east of Taipei, moving at a speed of 29 kilometers per hour. The CWB does not currently predict that any of these tropical storms will impact Taiwan directly, though they may contribute to the heavy rains expected for the coming week.

Cheng said the current low-pressure system in the waters of the southern Ryukyu islands is very close to Taiwan and will near the waters north of the country by Wednesday. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Leepi will weaken as it heads from the Ryukyu islands to the East China Sea but could merge with another low pressure system and impact China's coast. Whether it becomes a tropical depression or typhoon remains to be seen.