ECMWF map of models (left), GFS map of models (right).

ECMWF map of models (left), GFS map of models (right).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As a tropical depression east of the Philippines has stalled and has yet to become a full-fledged tropical storm, conditions in Taiwan during the Mid-Autumn Festival on Friday will be mostly clear, ideal for moon-gazing.

A tropical depression loitering to the east of the Philippines could be upgraded to Tropical Storm Peipah, the 16th tropical storm of the year, as early as today (Sept. 12). Multiple models of the future tropical storm’s path have come out of various weather agencies around the world, with many showing the storm impacting Taiwan directly early next week.

Central Weather Bureau (CWB) forecaster Kuan Hsin-ping (官欣平) said that the weather today will be affected by a Pacific high-pressure ridge, leading to mostly sunny and hot weather. Only sporadic rains could occur along the northern coast of Keelung and in eastern Taiwan, while small thunderstorms could occur in mountainous areas in the afternoon.

Conditions will be muggy in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, and Kinmen, where the mercury will climb to 36 degrees Celsius. The CWB has issued an orange heat warning for Taoyuan City and a yellow heat advisory for Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Kinmen, and Miaoli County.

Wu Der-rong (吳德榮), an adjunct associate professor of atmospheric sciences at National Central University, said today that the tropical depression to the east of the Philippines is being influenced by the northeast circulation of a “monsoon low-pressure system” and is being guided northwest. Wu said that the tropical depression has the potential of becoming a tropical storm today or Friday, but due to the influence of the monsoon low-pressure system, its approach toward Taiwan has been delayed.

However, Wu said that some models have the tropical storm coming very close to Taiwan early next week. Overall, Wu said that the sets of models vary wildly, demonstrating a high degree of uncertainty, and that model adjustment should be continuously observed.