The China Post staff
People in Taiwan should prepare for the possible visits of three typhoons during the second half of the year as most people in northern Taiwan are craving the heavy rains accompanying the typhoons to relieve the current prolonged drought. Officials of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) reported yesterday that the traditional rain season for Taiwan has officially come to an end, but the cumulative rainfall in Taipei area during the months of May and June reached only 231.3 millimeters. The rainfall was only 58 percent of the average figure for the rain season and was also the second lowest in 53 years. The CWB officials said that 27 typhoons are expected to form in the areas of the western part of the northern Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea over the course of the next six months. They said three of them are most likely to hit Taiwan. Past records show that the typhoon season of July to September brought forth the year’s heaviest rainfall for Taiwan.
However, CWB officials warned the public not to pin their hopes on these typhoons to ease Taiwan’s water shortage due to the dramatic changes in global weather conditions, including the possible recurrence of the el Nino phenomenon. The habit of water-saving and reuse of water remain the most effective weapons against drought and water shortage.
Officials from the CWB’s Weather Forecast Center also urged the public to be well-prepared for the dark side of devastating typhoons. They pointed out that property damage caused by typhoons in Taiwan averages about NT$13 billion (US$388 million) per year, constituting about 75 percent of total damages triggered by weather-related disasters. Please see TYPHOONS on page
The forecasters said that a new tropical low pressure zone could soon be formed on the sea east of the Philippine Islands. They said it may even grow into a light typhoon. Since its possible future course is close to Taiwan, people could feel the impact of weather changes on July 2. In order to better serve the public, the CWB will improve its information service starting on July 1.
In addition to the existing “166” and “167” telephone lines for the update of weather conditions, the bureau will cooperate with Chunghwa Telecom Co. to provide the information on the telecom service’s “emome” Web site. People using Chunghwa Telecom’s wireless telecom services can get the information from their mobile phones by dialing “373”.
Internet surfers can also retrieve the latest weather reports in the new “Electronic Weather Paper” by visiting the CWB’s Web site: “www.cwb.gov.tw”.