Tropical Storm Bailu Brings Wind and Rain to Taiwan

Tropical Storm Bailu brought wind and rain to Taiwan early on Saturday.  At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Bailu was located at latitude 22.6°N and longitude 120.2°E which put it about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Hengchun, Taiwan.  Bailu was moving toward the northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

The broad center of Tropical Storm Bailu moved across southern Taiwan early on Saturday.  Bailu produced winds to tropical storm force over parts of Taiwan, but its greater effect was heavy rain.  Since Tropical Storm Bailu passed near the southern end of Taiwan, its counterclockwise rotation produced easterly winds over much of Taiwan.  Those winds pushed air up the mountains, which enhanced rising motion and caused heavy rain to fall over eastern Taiwan.  Estimates of rainfall from radars indicated that up to one foot (300 mm) of rain could have fallen over southeastern Taiwan.  That much rain is likely to have caused flash floods in some locations.

Tropical Storm Bailu will continue to move southwest of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will continue to steer Bailu toward the northwest.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Bailu will make landfall on the east coast of China between Xiamen and Shantou in about 12 hours.  Bailu will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to parts of eastern China.  Heavy rain could also produce flash floods in some locations.