TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued an alert Wednesday (Oct. 26) for a tropical depression that is to the east of the Philippines and is expected to become a typhoon as soon as Thursday (Oct. 27) — but the likelihood of it making direct landfall in Taiwan unknown.
At 8 a.m. Wednesday, Tropical Depression 27 was located at 12.5 degrees north latitude and 134.8 degrees east longitude, moving westward at a speed of 18 kilometers per hour (kph). The tropical depression is packing maximum sustained winds of 54 kph and gusts of up to 82.8 kph.
Bureau forecaster Huang En-hong (黃恩鴻) said that it is estimated the tropical depression will intensify into a Typhoon Nalgae (奈格), the 22nd typhoon of the year, as soon as Thursday. Huang said that Nalgae is predicted to swing north either when it reaches Luzon Island or the Bashi Channel, before moving up waters off the east coast of Taiwan.
However, the structure of the tropical depression is poor and a discernible eye has not yet formed. Therefore, there is a high degree of uncertainty about its future movements until it starts to form a more complete structure.
WeatherRisk Explore Inc. CEO Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明) said the center of this tropical depression has been loitering for some time now. Peng estimated the tropical cyclone will move westward before turning north on Saturday (Oct. 29).
From Sunday to Monday (Oct. 30-31), Peng said that it may pass through the Bashi Channel and turn northeast and the eye of the typhoon may move northward along the waters off the east coast of Taiwan.
Peng pointed out that if the system passes off the east coast of Taiwan, the main areas affected will be northern Taiwan and the eastern half of the country, while central and southern areas will be less affected.