TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a sea warning for Typhoon Lekima at 5:30 p.m. today (Aug. 7) as the storm continues to strengthen and head toward the waters off the coast of northern Taiwan.
According to the latest CWB data, Typhoon Lekima is located 740 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi and is moving northwest at 15 kilometers per hour (kph). The storm has a radius of 220 kilometers and is packing maximum sustained winds of 136 kph with gusts of up to 172 kph, according to CWB data.
At 5:30 p.m. today, the CWB issued a sea warning for the east Bashi Channel, the sea north of Taiwan, the sea northeast of Taiwan, and the sea southeast of Taiwan. Because conditions are suitable for further development of the typhoon, Lekima may approach Taiwan with its maximum intensity.
It is currently estimated that Lekima will reach a typhoon intensity level of Category 3 hurricane. When the storm is closest to Taiwan, its radius may extend out 250 kilometers.
Due to Lekima's slow speed, it has only moved 94 kilometers since 8 a.m. this morning. Therefore, the sea warning, which had originally been scheduled for 2:30 p.m., had to be pushed to 5:30 p.m. by the CWB, while a land warning will be released at some point early Thursday morning (Aug. 8).
On Thursday, as the typhoon approaches, there will be a lot of wind and rain in northern and eastern Taiwan. The CWB estimates that there will be heavy rain or heavy downpours in northern and eastern Taiwan, while central and southern Taiwan will see slightly milder weather in the form of light rain and scattered thunderstorms.
Taiwan will feel the maximum intensity of Lekima on Friday (Aug. 9), when western Taiwan and Yilan will bear the brunt of the winds. The CWB Bureau predicts that heavy rains will fall throughout the country on Friday.
By Saturday (Aug. 10), the typhoon will shift north as it begins to slow. However, the CWB reminds residents that there still could be heavy rain or heavy downpours in western, central, and southern Taiwan on Saturday.
CWB map of Lekima's projected path.