Tropical Cyclone "Gaemi" hits Taiwan, heading toward Japan

Tropical Cyclone

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Tropical Cyclone "Gaemi" made landfall in Kaohsiung, a massive port city in southern Taiwan, between 07:00 and 08:00 local time (midnight UTC) on June 15, 2018, disrupting traffic and closing schools and offices.

While Weather Forecasters in Taiwan and official RSMC for this region, run by the Japan Meteorological Agency, could not agree whether this was a tropical depression or tropical storm, the system was powerful enough to bring strong winds and torrential rains to southern parts of Taiwan, disrupting traffic and closing schools and offices. 

Residents, especially those living in Central and South Taiwan, were warned that the excessive rainfall might cause landslides, flooding and falling rocks.

The CWB said the conditions for the weather system to be declared a tropical storm were not present at the time of landfall but would occur after it moved east over the Pacific later Friday afternoon.

At 09:00 UTC today, the storm was heading NE at 20 km/h (5.5 mph) toward Ishigaki-shima, Japan with maximum (10-minute) wind speed of 65 km/h (40 mph) and central pressure of 994 hPa.

Tropical Storm Gaemi forecast track 12z June 15, 2018

Tropical Storm "Gaemi" forecast track at 12:00 UTC on June 15, 2018. Credit: JMA

Gaemi is expected to continue moving NE over the next 12 hours when it is expected to reach Ishigaki-shima and Miyako-Jima.

Slow intensification trend is expected over the next 24 hours and Gaemi is expected to reach Okinawa around 06:00 UTC on June 16 with maximum (10-minute) wind speed of 75 km/h (46 mph) and continue heading NE.

Gaemi is the 6th named storm of 2018 Pacific typhoon season.

Featured image: 3-hr rainfall accumulation produced by Tropical Cyclone "Gaemi" (12:00 UTC). Credit: earth.nullschool

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