By: Elaine Yang , 11:34 PM GMT on August 26, 2011
JTWC changed Typhoon Nanmadol's track at 8/26 2100UTC. Previously, it was following GFS more, which is taking it towards Okinawa. The latest update matches with ECMWF's track only for the first 3 days. After that, ECMWF has it making landfall near Taitung City(台東), Taiwan Monday night or Tuesday morning, then stalling in Taiwan for a couple of days before it moves into the Taiwan Strait Wednesday. On the other hand, JTWC is taking it northeastward, more like a blend of ECMWF and GFS. It would be interesting to see whether GFS or ECMWF verifies.
If ECMWF verifies, Taiwan will be in a huge trouble. How much damage from Nanmadol will depend on where it makes landfall. Anywhere from the east side will minimize its potential damage. The Central Mountain Range will help to reduce Nanmadol's intensity greatly. Nevertheless, the east coast will be battling with heavy rain, strong storm surge, damaging winds etc. If the track shifts slightly westward, making landfall from the south or SSW, this will be the worst situation. A larger population will be directly affected by this storm. Kaohsiung, the second largest city in Taiwan, with a population around 2.9 million, will be hit directly. I cannot image how terrible this would be.
Nanmadol's track is being compared with Typhoon Yanni that swept through eastern Taiwan in 1998. Yanni nailed Taiwan in 1998, dumped tremendous amount of rain in the east, many roads in the mountains were destroyed and 60 plus railway sections collapsed with one death. Rainfall accumulation from 9/27/1998 to 9/29/1998 in northeastern Taiwan was about 8 to 15 inches with some areas 15 to 20 inches. A link to the accumulated rainfall map.Yanni was a tropical storm when it swept through eastern Taiwan. Nanmadol is anticipated to be a category 2 or 3 typhoon as it potentially makes landfall in Taiwan.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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