Severe Tropical Storm “Bailu” (Ineng) heading toward Taiwan, eastern China

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Tropical Storm "Bailu," known as Ineng in the Philippines, formed August 21, 2019, as the 11th named storm of the 2019 Pacific typhoon season. Bailu is expected to pass extremely close to the southern tip of Taiwan or make landfall somewhere near Hengchun over the next 24 hours. It will then continue moving northwestward and hit eastern China near the city of Jieyang early August 25. The basin will remain very active over the next 20 days. Be aware of potential threats, see forecast models below and follow official sources for up-to-date information.

Early on August 21, when Bailu was still a tropical depression, it affected the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila, Philippines, producing heavy rains over the area previously hit by strong rains from Typhoon "Lekima." Later on the same day, the tropical depression was designated as 12W and upgraded to a Tropical Storm "Bailu" by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Despite this, the system still had a disorganized center but it soon started strengthening on its way toward Taiwan.

Severe Tropical Storm "Bailu" (Ineng) at 08:20 UTC on August 23, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8

At 06:00 UTC on August 23, Severe Tropical Storm "Bailu" (Ineng) was located about 770 km (480 miles) south-southeast of Taipei, Taiwan. Maximum 10-minute sustained winds were 95 km/h (60 mph), maximum 1-minute sustained winds 85 km/h (50 mph), with gusts up to 130 km/h (80 mph). The minimum central barometric pressure was 990 hPa, and the system was moving northwestward at 25 km/h (15 mph).

"Ineng maintains its strength while moving towards southern Taiwan – Batanes area," PAGASA said in its latest Tropical Cyclone Warning bulletin issued 09:00 UTC today:

Tonight, moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Batanes, Cagayan (including Babuyan Islands), Ilocos Provinces, Apayao, Kalinga and Abra. Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will affect Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Mindoro Provinces, northern portion of Palawan (including Calamian and Cuyo Islands), Aklan, Antique, western portion of Iloilo, and the rest of Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley.

Tomorrow (August 24), moderate to heavy rains may prevail over Batanes and Babuyan Islands. Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains may be experienced over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan, Zambales, Bataan, Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Mindoro Provinces and northern portions of Palawan (including Calamian and Cuyo Islands).

Residents in the aforementioned areas, especially those living in areas identified to be highly or very highly susceptible to floods and rain-induced landslides, are advised to take precautionary measures, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates, especially the Thunderstorm Advisories and Heavy Rainfall Warnings to be issued by PAGASA Regional Services Divisions.

Areas under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWS), especially those under higher TCWS, are warned against strong winds associated with STS "INENG".

"INENG" remains less likely to make landfall in the country. However, it will be closest to Batanes Province tomorrow morning. It is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tomorrow evening.

Sea travel is risky over the seaboards of areas under TCWS and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, and Visayas due to potentially rough sea conditions.

Forecast models

Featured image: Severe Tropical Storm "Bailu" (Ineng) at 08:20 UTC on August 23, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8

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