Taiwan to feel effects of Typhoon Vongfong Saturday

Typhoon Vongfong expected to bring rain and big waves to Taiwan, sea warning possible

(NOAA animated GIF of Typhoon Vongfong)

(NOAA animated GIF of Typhoon Vongfong)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The periphery of the first typhoon of the year, which is currently battering the Philippines, is expected to reach Taiwan on Saturday (May 16), bringing rain and big waves to southern and eastern Taiwan, and a sea warning is possible.

As of 2 a.m. this morning (May 15), Typhoon Vongfong (黃蜂, wasp) was located 1,090 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi and moving northwest at a speed of 17 kilometers per hour (kph), according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB). The storm has a radius of 150 kilometers and is packing maximum sustained winds of 118 kph with gusts up to 154 kph.

As Vongfong is currently tracking over land in the Philippines, it is beginning to weaken. The CWB predicts that the periphery of the storm will bring scattered showers and possibly thunderstorms to the southern and eastern parts of the country on Saturday and Sunday (May 17).

JTWC map of Vongfong's projected path.

Starting today, coastal areas of southwestern and eastern Taiwan (including Orchid Island and Green Island) and the Hengchun Peninsula will begin to see large waves. Meanwhile, low clouds or fog in Kinmen and Matsu are likely to affect visibility.

In terms of intensity, the CWB rates the typhoon at the lower end of "moderate," and it is expected to weaken, becoming a mild typhoon, by the time it reaches the Bashi Channel. Nevertheless, the bureau is not ruling out the possibility of issuing a sea warning.

The CWB predicts that the storm will likely bring rainfall to eastern Taiwan and the Hengchun Peninsula and afternoon thunderstorms throughout the island over the weekend. On Monday (May 18), a plum rain front is expected to arrive, and the bureau predicts this will bring showers and thunderstorms across the country from May 19 to 23.

NOAA animated GIF of Western Pacific.

In the Philippines, the typhoon made landfall over San Policarpo in Eastern Samar at 12:15 p.m., according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). The weather agency added that the typhoon is bringing powerful winds and heavy rain to the provinces of Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar.

Heavy rain was also reported in Masbate, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Sur, and the rest of Eastern Visayas. Today PAGASA predicts heavy rain over the Bicol region and moderate to heavy rain to the provinces of Northern Samar, Quezon, Aurora, Marinduque, and Romblon.