TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As a tropical depression to the east of the Philippines has been slow to form, conditions for viewing the moon on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival (Sept. 13) appear better now, while by Sunday (Sept. 15), Taiwan could see wet weather from the tropical system.

The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) predicted today (Sept. 11) that Taiwan will see partly cloudy to sunny skies on Friday, the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The CWB predicts that conditions for viewing the moon that night will be best in western Taiwan, while scattered clouds might hinder moon-viewing in Keelung, mountainous areas of northern Taiwan, and northeastern Taiwan.

The low-pressure system to the east of the Philippines has been upgraded to a tropical depression. Before and during the Mid-Autumn Festival, the tropical disturbance is expected to gradually approach Taiwan, but more observations will be needed to better predict its strength and precise path.

On Mid-Autumn Festival day, a weak northeasterly wind will blow near Taiwan. The CWB predicts that cloud cover will increase on the north coast of Keelung, mountainous area of northern Taiwan, and northeastern Taiwan, obscuring the moon, but breaks in the clouds in greater Taipei and eastern Taiwan might still provide a glimpse of the glowing orb.

On Sunday, the tropical system could bring brief showers to the northern and eastern Taiwan. During this period, residents of the central and southern parts of the country should also be advised of afternoon thunderstorms.

Tropical disturbance 95W, which is churning east of the Philippines, is expected to transform into Tropical Storm Peipah (琵琶) as soon as today. According to the Facebook group TWTYBBS.com (台灣颱風論壇), 95W is still very chaotic, and because its scope is very large, it will take a long time to integrate.

As for moon-viewing on the Mid-Autumn Festival, the CWB said that cloud cover will be thick in Yilan and the northern coast of Keelung. Patchy clouds in greater Taipei and eastern Taiwan may make moon-gazing challenging, but western Taiwan should have clear skies offering plenty of unhindered views of the moon.

According to TWTYBBS.com, “The chances of 95W entering Taiwan are not high in the short term,” but even if 95W does not intensify when it moves to the east of Taiwan over the weekend, it will strengthen easterly winds over the country and bring rainy weather. “Rainfall will increase along the northern coast and in eastern Taiwan,” according to the TWTYBBS.com.


NOAA animated GIF of NW Pacific.