TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tropical storm that formed on Thursday (Oct. 29) has the potential of strengthening into a typhoon that could affect Taiwan next week.
Typhoon Goni, the 19th tropical storm of the year, has developed into a medium-strength typhoon but is not expected to have any impact on Taiwan. Meteorologist Wu Der-rong (吳德榮) said Tropical Storm Atsani formed on Thursday evening, marking the seventh tropical storm of October, the most seen in the month since 1984, with the average being 3.7.
According to information released by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) at 2 a.m. on Friday morning (Oct. 30), the center of Typhoon Goni was located at 16.4 degrees north latitude and 133.4 degrees east longitude and was moving westward at a speed of 13 kilometers per hour (kph). Meanwhile, the center of Tropical Storm Atsani was at 9.0 degrees north latitude and 147.5 degrees east longitude, moving northwest at a speed of 25 kph.
Wu said Atsani's future path is highly uncertain but that it may impact Taiwan's weather next week. According to the latest weather modeling, Atsani will move northwest and west over the next five days, but the models diverge dramatically after that.
Based on the latest models, Wu said that five days from now, Atsani may head towards Japan's Ryukyu Islands before turning north or it may pass through the Bashi Chanel in the South China Sea. The two models vary wildly, with the latter putting the storm closer to Taiwan.
If Atsani takes the more southerly route, it could have a significant impact on Taiwan. However, Wu said that more observations are needed to get a more accurate assessment of its ultimate path.