Unstable weather forecast in wake of Tropical Storm Mekkhala

Satellite image from the Central Weather Bureau

TAIPEI (CNA) — The offshore Kinmen and Penghu counties and areas south of Yunlin County on Taiwan could see brief downpours on Tuesday due to the lingering effects of Tropical Storm Mekkhala, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The tropical storm, which passed through the Taiwan Strait on Monday, was expected to weaken after it made landfall in China’s Fujian Province at 7 a.m. Tuesday, the CWB said.

As of 11 a.m., Mekkhala had sustained winds of 83 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 108 kph, and was moving northward at a speed of 27 kph, the weather bureau said.

Though the tropical storm was moving away from Taiwan, the CWB issued heavy rain advisories Tuesday for Kinmen, Penghu and all areas south of Yunlin County, warning of accumulated rainfall of 80 millimeters or more during a period of 24 hours.

The advisory also applies to Greater Taipei and mountainous areas of northern and central Taiwan, where rainfall is expected to be concentrated in the afternoon, the CWB said.

The CWB has also issued extremely heavy rain advisories for Taitung County and parts of Pingtung County, meaning that rain totals could exceed 200 mm in a 24-hour period or 100 mm in a three-hour period.

Due to the rainfall, temperatures are expected to remain slightly lower than average Tuesday, with daytime highs ranging from 29-32 degrees in the south and on the east coast, and 33-34 degrees in other areas.

According to the weather bureau, the tropical storm brought overnight winds reaching 10-11 on the intensity scale in Penghu, while winds in Kinmen, which lies just off the coast of Fujian Province, could hit 11-12 on the scale Tuesday morning.

On the extended version of the Beaufort scale used in Taiwan, level 10-11 indicates winds of 89-117 kph, and 11-12 means 103-132 kph.

The CWB said it expects to lift its land warning for Kinmen on Tuesday afternoon as the threat posed by Mekkhala recedes. The rain advisories, meanwhile, will remain in effect throughout the evening.