New storms may form over Pacific this weekend: CWB
Two tropical depressions could turn into storms over the Pacific this weekend, but only one of them would likely have a substantial impact on Taiwan, the Central Weather Bureau said Friday.
As of 4 p.m., the tropical depression that could threaten Taiwan is centered 3,300 kilometers east-southeast of the island, moving west at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects it to pass just north of Saipan on Monday.
The other depression is centered 4,500 kilometers eastsoutheast of Taiwan and about 600 kilometers southwest of the Wake Island Group. It has shown little movement so far.
They are both packing maximum sustained winds of 54 kph, approaching the threshold for a tropical storm of sustained winds of 62 kph, according to bureau data.
Only the first storm could threaten Taiwan, however, forecasters said, adding that it could move to an area just south of Okinawa by Aug. 21.
The official forecast partially corroborated a controversial prediction made by Next TV weatherman Lee Fu-cheng earlier this week, who said two storms could form by the weekend.
He said the storms, which could develop into strong typhoons, might start affecting Taiwan as early as Aug. 21 and follow similar paths to Typhoon Soudelor, which lashed Taiwan on Aug. 8 and left eight dead and nearly 450 injured in Taiwan.
The weather bureau blasted Lee as irresponsible, accusing him of being alarmist, and CWB chief Shin Tzay-chyn said at the time that it was too early to make such predictions.