Lekima could become first typhoon to strike Taiwan this year

Lekima could become strongest typhoon of year and first to strike Taiwan: Wu Der-rong

Lekima's predicted path. (Map from Peng Chi-ming)

Lekima's predicted path. (Map from Peng Chi-ming)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Wu Der-rong (吳德榮), an adjunct associate professor of atmospheric sciences at National Central University, said today (Aug. 6) that Tropical Storm Lekima could soon develop into the strongest typhoon of the season and the first to strike Taiwan this year.

Wu said that according to the Central Weather Bureau forecast map, Tropical Storm Francisco will pass through Kyushu, Japan today before invading the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday (Aug. 7). Wu said that the latest European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) model shows that the number of simulation tracks showing Lekima passing through Taiwan are too high to be ignored.

Will the center pass over Taiwan or to the waters just northeast of Taiwan? Is it possible to land directly on Taiwan? Wu said that Lekima could become the first typhoon to invade Taiwan and will likely develop into the strongest since the start of the typhoon season.

CWB map of Lekima's predicted path.

However, Wu cautioned that there were great differences in the various models. Wu said that it is inappropriate to draw a conclusion prematurely, and "we should continue to observe the situation."

As for the weather today, Wu said that easterly winds will carry moisture to Taiwan and bring localized brief showers to northern Taiwan, eastern Taiwan, and the Hengchun Peninsula. Wu said that there will be localized thunderstorms in the afternoon in mountainous areas of western Taiwan, particularly in Hsinchu and areas south.

Temperatures today will range between 25 and 36 degrees Celsius in northern Taiwan, 25 to 35 degrees in central Taiwan, 25 to 35 degrees in southern Taiwan, and 24 to 36 degrees in eastern Taiwan.

CWB map of predicted paths of Lekima, Francisco, and new storm.

On Wednesday, northeasterly winds around Lekima will bring moisture to Taiwan. Wu said that rain is likely in northern and northeastern Taiwan, as well as scattered thunderstorms by the mid-afternoon in central and southern Taiwan on Wednesday.

From Thursday to Saturday (Aug. 8 and 9), Lekima will bring wind and rain to Taiwan. The extent of its impact on various locations in Taiwan will depend on the structure and path of the typhoon, which still requires further observation to make more accurate predictions, said Wu.

TSR map of Lekima's predicted path.

NCDR map showing models of multiple weather agencies.

Japan Meteorological Agency map of Lekima's predicted path.

JTWC map of Lekima's predicted path.

CWB satellite map.

Satellite map of Western Pacific by RAMMB.

Windy.com map of situation by Friday.