TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) today (Nov. 6) extended its typhoon land warning for Tropical Storm Atsani to Kaoshiung and Tainan.
The CWB at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday evening issued a typhoon land warning in Pingtung County and Taitung County for Atsani, the first tropical storm to warrant a land warning for Taiwan proper this year. At 9:15 Friday morning as the tropical storm neared, CWB extended the land warning to Kaohsiung City and Tainan City.
As of 8 a.m., Atsani was located 150 kilometers southeast of Eluanbi, moving west-northwest at a speed of 13 kilometers per hour (kph). The tropical storm has a radius of 120 km and is packing maximum sustained winds of 100 kph and gusts of up to 126 kph.
(JTWC map of Atsani's projected path)
According to CWB, the storm's center has entered the Bashi Channel and waters off the coast of southeast Taiwan. As CWB believes the severe tropical storm poses a threat to Taitung County (including Orchid Island and Green Island), Pingtung County, the Hengchun Peninsula, Kaohsiung City, and Tainan City, it has issued typhoon land warnings for those areas.
CWB explained that it expanded its typhoon land warning to Kaohsiung and Tainan because Atsani has shifted slightly north. It reminded the public in land warning area zones to beware of strong winds, heavy rain, and large waves in coastal areas throughout the day.
The weather bureau pointed out the periphery of Atsani will bring powerful winds to the sea surface around Taiwan. CWB reports strong gusts of Level 10 or higher on the Beaufort scale on the Hengchun Peninsula and open coastal areas of southeastern Taiwan (including Orchid Island and Green Island).
(CWB map of Atsani's projected path)
There are also strong gusts between Level 8 and 9 reported in the open coastal areas in eastern Taiwan, the western half of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. The Taipei Basin is also seeing strong wind gusts.
Large waves are likely to occur on the north coast of Keelung, the eastern half of Taiwan (including Orchid Island and Green Island), southwest Taiwan, and coastal areas of the Hengchun Peninsula. The public is urged to exercise caution when venturing to the coast in those areas.
CWB has also issued a heavy rain advisory for Pingtung County and Taitung County. There is also the probability of localized heavy downpours on the Hengchung Peninsula and Taitung.
(JMA map of Atsani's projected path)
CWB forecaster Hsu Chung-yi (徐仲毅) said Atsani will come closest to Taiwan today. In the first half of the day, the tropical storm may make landfall in southern Taiwan, predicted Hsu.
Hsu pointed out that Atsani is expected to pass over the Hengchun Peninsula on Saturday morning. Under the influence of northeast winds, its path will start to shift to the south and its intensity will gradually weaken into a tropical depression.