Tropical storm brewing east of Philippines could near Taiwan

Tropical depression could develop into Tropical Storm Vongfong today

(CWB satellite map)

(CWB satellite map)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tropical depression churning off the southeast coast of the Philippines is likely to transform into the first tropical storm of the year today (May 12), and there is a possibility it could approach Taiwan, but more observation is needed to determine its future path.

A tropical depression situated approximately 1,740 kilometers south-southeast of Taiwan is likely to form into Tropical Storm Vongfong (黃蜂, wasp) today, making it the first tropical storm of the year, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). The tropical depression is currently moving north-northwest at a speed of 10 kilometers per hour.

WeatherRisk Explore Inc., President Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明) said that the tropical depression will likely evolve into a tropical storm today or Wednesday. Peng predicted the storm will strike land in the Philippines before either veering off to the north or heading south to the South China Sea, in which case it could swing to the north and spiral up the waters off the coast of Eastern Taiwan.

(PAGASA map of the storm's predicted path)

Peng said that if the potential tropical storm impacts Taiwan, its presence will not be felt until the weekend. However, he said more observation is needed over the next two days to determine whether it will impact the island.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that the strength of the storm will depend on how long it stays at sea. The weather agency predicts that the storm will move northward over the coming days and likely cross central Luzon by Friday (May 15).