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Tropical Storm Surigae could come closest to Taiwan on Sunday

Northeast monsoon to bring cool, wet weather to northern Taiwan for rest of week

(NOAA animated GIF of Western Pacific)

(NOAA animated GIF of Western Pacific)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tropical storm that formed in the Western Pacific this morning could come closest to Taiwan as early as Sunday (April 18).

At 2 a.m. this morning (April 14), a tropical depression in the Philippine Sea officially became Tropical Storm Surigae, the second tropical storm of the year. According to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), Surigae is not currently expected to directly impact Taiwan and will likely come closest to the country Sunday or Monday (April 19).

As of 2 a.m., Tropical Storm Surigae was located 2,390 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi, had a radius of 100 km, and was moving north-northwest at 7 kilometers per hour, according to the CWB. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 64.8 kph with gusts of up to 90 kph.

The weather bureau predicts that the storm will likely shift north as it nears the Philippines. It is expected to come closest to Taiwan Sunday or Monday before spinning off to the northeast.

As for local weather, the CWB said that temperatures in northern Taiwan are about 10 degrees Celsius cooler due to the strengthening of the northeast monsoon, with the lowest temperature this morning being 16.4 degrees in New Taipei's Shimen District. Because the weather front is bringing moisture with it, brief rains are likely today in the north and east, in Pingtung, and in mountainous areas of central and southern Taiwan.

Tropical Storm Surigae could come closest to Taiwan on Sunday
CWB satellite map of Western Pacific.

Heavier rains are predicted for Keelung and the north coast as well as the eastern half of Taiwan, while other parts of the country will see cloudy skies. The CWB estimates that the monsoon will continue to bring cooler temperatures to northern areas from Thursday to Saturday (April 15 to 17).

During this period, short-term rainfall will be likely in the northern and eastern regions as well as central and southern mountainous areas. By Saturday, the moisture will gradually diminish, with only brief showers in eastern and mountainous western areas, while the rest of the country should see sunny skies.

Meteorologist Daniel Wu (吳德榮) predicted that over the next five days, Surigae will move northwest and then west toward the Philippines. On the fifth day, when it is likely closest to Taiwan, he projected that the storm will be guided by westerly winds and shift to the northeast.

Wu asserted that Surigae will not pose a direct threat to Taiwan, and it is unlikely to alleviate the country's drought. On the contrary, Wu claimed that the storm may actually draw moisture away as it veers off to the northeast.

Tropical Storm Surigae could come closest to Taiwan on Sunday
Current projected path of Tropical Storm Surigae. (CWB map)