TAIPEI–There is a greater chance that Taiwan will be hit by more tropical storms or typhoons than usual this year, with up to four such events expected in the latter half of 2012, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.
The bureau’s latest study indicates that an emerging El Nino may make weather conditions around the island more unstable, causing the number of storms in Taiwan this year to surpass the annual average of 3.6.
The bureau explained that under the effect of El Nino, known for warmer sea temperatures in general, storms tend to form far away from Taiwan and thus have time to mature and build up intensity by the time they approach the island.
“The life span of most storms in an El Nino year can be twice as long as storms that form in a regular year,” said Cheng Ming-dean, director of the bureau’s Weather Forecast Center.
Cheng also said there are greater chances that the island will be struck by torrential downpours this year.