Taipei, June 19 (CNA) The formation and path of Tropical Storm Talim are rare at this time of year in the Pacific, the Central Weather Bureau said Tuesday.
It is hard to categorize Talim, which developed in the South China Sea and is likely to move up the Taiwan Strait toward the island, said Cheng Ming-dean, director of the bureau's weather forecast center.
To begin with, most storms that approach Taiwan are formed off the Philippines, but few develop in the South China Sea, he said.
Storms that form in the South China Sea can move on an easterly path toward Taiwan only if they are steered by strong southwestern winds, which are rare in June, he said.
Cheng said that in Taiwan's recorded history only 2.9 percent of typhoons that hit the island had diverted from the nine main track patterns that Pacific storms usually take.
"The last time we saw a similar phenomenon was in December 2004 when Typhoon Nanmadol struck," Cheng said, referring to a winter typhoon that killed two people in Taiwan and caused agricultural losses of NT$670 million (US$22.4 million).
The bureau forecast that Talim would affect Taiwan most heavily June 20-21, bringing more than 1,500 millimeters of rainfall, especially in the southwestern mountainous areas.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Talim was centered 610 kilometers southwest of the offshore county of Penghu.
The storm was moving at a speed of 19 km per hour in a northeasterly direction, packing maximum sustained winds of 83 kph and gusts of up to 108 kph.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)