Taipei, June 15 (CNA) Tropical Storm Guchol was continuing to strengthen but might not hit Taiwan directly as it was turning slightly northward, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said Friday.
Guchol could develop into typhoon over the weekend, the bureau said, but the storm's current path suggested it might only brush past the sea off Taiwan's eastern coast next week.
The storm is expected to move close to Taiwan on June 18, bringing rainfall to northern and eastern regions as its outer rim approaches, according to the bureau.
As of Friday afternoon, Guchol was centered 1,710 kilometers east of Taiwan's southern tip, moving at a speed of 6 km per hour in a west-northwesterly direction and packing maximum sustained winds of 108 kph, with gusts reaching 137 kph.
Meanwhile, a strong weather front that has lingered over Taiwan for nearly a week is expected to leave during the weekend, leading to a milder weather pattern across the island, the bureau said.
The weather front caused torrential rain and flooding in many parts of Taiwan this week. Six people have died from mudslides and drowningwhile a lot of farmland, schools, roads and bridges have been damaged.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)