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Tropical storm forms southeast of Taiwan

Meteorologists say Tropical Storm Choi-wan could affect Taiwan's plum rains

CWB map of Choi-wan's predicted path, and ECMWF prediction. 

CWB map of Choi-wan's predicted path, and ECMWF prediction. 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A tropical storm that formed on Monday (May 31) is not likely to have a direct impact on Taiwan, but it could disrupt the plum rain weather front bringing badly needed precipitation to drought-ridden Taiwan.

On Monday, a tropical storm dubbed Choi-wan (彩雲) formed to the southwest of Palau, making it the third tropical storm of the year. Meteorologists predict that it will head toward the east of Luzon in the Philippines.

As of 8 a.m. on Monday, Choi-Wan was located about 1,760 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip of Eluanbi, moving northwest at a speed of 16 kilometers per hour (kph). The tropical storm has a radius of 100 km and is packing maximum sustained winds of 64.8 kph and gusts of up to 90 kph.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) predicts the tropical storm will move north and follow the east coast of the Philippines before it reaches waters off the southeast coast of Taiwan. The CWB currently expects the tropical cyclone will shift to the northeast before striking Taiwan directly.

Meteorologist Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said the probability of Choi-wan directly striking Taiwan is not high. However, he said the strength and position of the cyclone could impact northeasterly winds, leading to an imbalance in the north-south air mass, causing the plum rain weather front to shift south toward Taiwan's Bashi Channel by June 6.