TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tropical depression that has been lurking in the waters east of the Philippines was upgraded to Tropical Storm Fung-Wong (鳳凰, Phoenix) at 8 a.m. this morning (Nov. 20) and is expected to come closest to Taiwan by Friday (Nov. 22).
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Fung-Wong is currently located at 16.1 degrees north latitude and 128.2 degrees east longitude, moving northwest at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour. It is estimated that the center of the storm will enter the Bashi Channel in the next couple of days.
The Facebook group twtybbs (台灣颱風論壇) today uploaded a post stating that Fung-Wong is moving very quickly and will enter the Bashi Channel on Thursday (Nov. 21). The post mentioned that the storm is strengthening rapidly and that conditions in the Bashi Channel are favorable for further development.
JMA map of Fung-Wong's projected path.
The Facebook group wrote that Fung-Wong could come closest to southern Taiwan on Friday or Saturday (Nov. 23). The post added that the next 36 hours are key in determining the ultimate course of the tropical storm.
The Facebook page WeatherRisk today wrote that Fung-Wong will come closer to Taiwan than Tropical Storm Kalmaegi, which continued to loiter over the northern Philippines. WeatherRisk stated that most models have Fung-Wong coming closest to the southeast coast of Taiwan by Friday.
However, after the storm reaches the waters off the coast of southeast Taiwan, the models diverge significantly. Some forecasts have the storm passing through the Bashi Channel, while others have it shifting north to waters off the island's east coast.
CWB satellite map of Western Pacific.
WeatherRisk wrote that because of the small circulation of the tropical storm, the models have a high degree of uncertainty. The weather company concluded that more observation over the next two days will be needed to have a clearer picture of the storm's future path.
CWB map of Fung-Wong's projected path.