Typhoon Lekima to have heavy impact on Taiwan overnight Thursday: CWB

TAIPEI (CNA) — Severe Typhoon Lekima will have the greatest impact on Taiwan from late Thursday through Friday, when it is projected to skirt the northeastern part of the country, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Lekima is forecast to bring extremely heavy rain to western and northeastern parts of Taiwan, the bureau said.

Intermittent showers were already being seen in northern Taiwan earlier Thursday due to the peripheral effect of the typhoon and the rain was expected to get worse later in the day, with northern parts of the island, Yilan in the northeast and Hualien in the east prone to heavy rain or extremely heavy rain, according to the bureau.

The weather in central and southern Taiwan and Taitung in the east remained stable Thursday morning, but sporadic showers or thunderstorms were forecast for those areas during the afternoon, with the chance of heavy rain in mountainous areas.

When the typhoon gets closer to Taiwan during the night, the winds are expected to get stronger and the rain heavier in central and southern Taiwan, the bureau said.

The eye of Lekima is forecast to skirt northeastern Taiwan as it moves northward between late Thursday night and Friday, when the typhoon will be closest to Taiwan.

Heavy rain refers to accumulated rainfall of more than 80mm over 24 hours or more than 40mm in one hour, while extremely heavy rainfall is defined as more than 200mm in 24 hours or more than 100mm in three hours, according to the CWB.

Typhoon Lekima is estimated to bring cumulative rainfall of 600-900mm to mountainous areas of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli from Wednesday to Saturday, when the typhoon will gradually move away from Taiwan, the bureau said.

Meanwhile, ships operating in waters north and east of Taiwan should be on alert for high waves, it added.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, Lekima was located about 420 kilometers east-southeast of Taipei, moving at a speed of 19kph in a northwesterly direction, according to bureau data.

It was packing maximum sustained winds of 184 kph, with gusts of up to 227 kph, the bureau said.

The land warning is in effect for Keelung, New Taipei, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Yilan and Hualien, the bureau said.

By Wang Shu-fen and Evelyn Kao