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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.

Tropical Storm Bailu on Track Toward Taiwan

Tropical Storm Bailu remained on a track toward Taiwan on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Bailu was located at latitude 19.0°N and longitude 125.6°E which put it about 385 miles (615 km) east-southeast of Hengchun, Taiwan.  Bailu was moving toward the northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Bailu was large.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 170 miles (280 km) from the center of circulation.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms in Bailu were occurring in bands in the southern half of the circulation.  Bands in the northern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Tropical Storm Bailu was moving south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge was causing sinking motion to the north of Bailu which appeared to be limiting the development of taller thunderstorms in the northern half of the circulation.

Aside from the sinking motion north of Tropical Storm Bailu, it will move through an environment favorable for intensification.  Bailu will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are not too strong and there will not be a lot of vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Bailu could intensify on Friday if more thunderstorms develop around the center of circulation.  There is a chance that Bailu could strengthen into a typhoon.

Tropical Storm Bailu will move around the southwestern part of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Bailu toward the northwest.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Bailu could approach southern Taiwan in about 24 hours.  Bailu could be a typhoon by that time.  It will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Taiwan.  The locally heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.