TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As Typhoon Lekima approaches Taiwan from the southeast, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has expanded the scope of its land warning for the storm.
At 8:30 a.m. this morning (Aug. 8), the CWB issued a land warning, as heavy rain and winds are expected to intensify as the day wears on and the typhoon draws near. This was combined with a sea warning which was issued at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and included New Taipei City, Taipei City, Keelung City, Taoyuan City Yilan County.
At 2:30 p.m., the CWB expanded the land warning to include Hsin Chu City and Hsin Chu County. In anticipation of the outer periphery of Lekima, the CWB at 2:15 p.m. issued an updated extremely heavy rain advisory for Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, Keelung City, Yilan County, and Hualien County.
CWB map of Lekima's predicted path.
There is also a heavy rain advisory in place for Miaoli County, Taichung City, Nantou County, Yunlin County, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, Chiayi County, Chiayi City, and Pingtung County. WeatherRisk Explore Inc. President Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明) said Lekima will come closest to Taiwan on Friday (Aug. 9), when its effects on the country will be most severe.
As of 2 p.m. today, the CWB said that Typhoon Lekima is about 440 kilometers east-southeast of Taipei moving northwest at a speed of 19 kilometers per hour (kph). The typhoon has a radius of 250 kilometers and is packing maximum sustained winds of 183 kph with gusts of up to 226 kph, based on CWB data.
By 2 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 9), Lekima's center is expected to be about 180 kilometers northeast of Taipei. The CWB said that because Lekima's cyclonic radius will enter the waters off the eastern half of Taiwan, it has issued a land warning to Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, Taoyuan City, Taipei City, New Taipei City, Keelung City, Yilan County, and Hualien County.
CWB satellite map.
According to the CWB, as the marine and atmospheric environment is suitable for typhoon development, Lekima intensified into a strong typhoon at 8:00 this morning. Its structure is quite complete and the typhoon's eye is clearly visible.
According to the latest data, the radius contains level 7 winds and averages about 250 kilometers in size. This typhoon has a wide circulation and convection, especially in the southwestern quadrant, where it is particularly vigorous.
According to the CWB, large waves have appeared in northern Taiwan, eastern Taiwan (including Orchid Island and Green Island), southern Taiwan, and the coastal areas of the Hengchun Peninsula. Winds and waves in the waters off of all of these areas have continued to increase.
Windy.com map of Western Pacific.
As the typhoon approaches, wind and rain will be most prevalent from tonight until Friday. Today, the probability of local heavy rain or heavy downpours is high in New Taipei City, Yilan County, Taoyuan City, and mountainous areas of Hsinchu County, while localized heavy rain is possible in Miaoli County, Chiayi County, and mountainous areas of central and eastern Taiwan.
Typhoon Lekima will come closest to Taiwan on Friday. Residents of western Taiwan and northeast Taiwan should beware of heavy rainfall.
On Saturday (Aug. 10), the typhoon is expected to gradually move away from Taiwan. However, the south side of the typhoon is rich in moisture, and the probability of heavy rain or heavy downpours in central and southern regions will still be high.
NOAA animated GIF of Typhoon Lekima.