TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Tropical Storm Bailu is heading straight for Taiwan, with sea warnings expected Friday (August 23) morning and land warnings during the afternoon.
The storm is expected to make landfall in Hualien or Taitung County on the east coast Saturday (August 24), the worst day for torrential rain islandwide, the Liberty Times reported.
As a result of the oncoming storm, Hsinchu, Miaoli, and the east coast might see the mercury rise to 36 degrees or higher Friday, though later in the day rainfall would markedly increase.
Late Thursday afternoon, the eye of Bailu was still about 1,000 kilometers east-southeast from Taiwan’s most southern point, Eluanbi, but it was moving northwest at a speed of 22 km per hour.
As it approaches Taiwan, it will gain in strength and might reach typhoon status just before making landfall on the island, forecasters said.
However, the strength of a high-pressure area over the Pacific might still cause Bailu to alter its course either on a more northerly path or a more southerly path, with the latter taking the storm through the Bashi Channel separating Taiwan from the Philippines.
While Bailu would have left Taiwan by Sunday, abundant rainfall would still occur in southern and central Taiwan that day, according to experts.