TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tropical depression brewing in the Western Pacific appears to be bound for the northern Philippines and could bring rain to Taiwan over the weekend.
A tropical depression loitering to the southeast of Taiwan could develop into Tropical Storm Neoguri (浣熊), the 20th tropical storm of the year, within a day or two. According to the latest data by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) today (Oct. 17), the storm was moving west-northwest at a speed of 14 kilometers per hour (kph) and packing maximum sustained winds of 43 kph with gusts of up to 72 kph.
The storm is currently on a path to strike the northern Philippine island of Luzon. Although the probability of the tropical system striking Taiwan directly is currently low, it is expected to bring wet weather to the country over the weekend.
The tropical cyclone is expected to gradually trend toward Luzon over the weekend. Moist air from the northern periphery of the storm is predicted to reach the waters off the coast of eastern Taiwan by Saturday afternoon, and by that evening and into Sunday, it could combine with a northeasterly wind to bring rain to northern and eastern Taiwan.
Wu Sheng-yu (吳聖宇), a weather analyst with WeatherRisk Explore Inc., said that "Even if the likelihood of a direct strike by the storm is low, the system will be the most critical variable determining the amount of rainfall over the weekend." Wu said that the amount of rain will depend on the extent to which the tropical depression intensifies.
Wu said that even if it is a small tropical storm, the moisture if brings to Taiwan after striking Luzon will bring significant rain to areas of the country affected by its periphery. Meteorologist Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said that a map of 50 weather models shown by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) indicates that, with the exception of one simulation path guided by westerly winds, most models show the system heading toward Luzon.
ECMWF model (left), CWB model (right).