Violent winds teamed with booming thunder could see Taiwan and the surrounding nations issue sea warnings, according to the Central Weather Bureau. Mitag – the 18th tropical storm of the season – formed into a typhoon east of the Philippines and is expected to pass through Taiwan come Monday and then Japan on Wednesday. Sea warnings are now more likely than ever and those with travel plans have been urged to closely monitor flight information as the typhoon could bring parts of Asia to a standstill, causing travel chaos.
Before news of the typhoon – currently a cyclone before it is expected to become even more forceful in the next 24 hours – Taiwan was already battling torrential rain, with theKeelung River reaching a high level and car owners in Taipei asked to remove their vehicles from areas close to the water, Taiwan News reports.
The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) said the storm will affect 14.5million people and is in the form of a Category 1 cyclone.
A Cat 1 storm, as defined by the Saffir–Simpson scale, will reach winds of 95mph.
The highest is a Cat 5 storm, which brings with it winds of up to 156mph and a danger to life.
The scale is based on the highest average wind over a one-minute time span and is commonly used to describe storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
It does not account for rainfall, which has seen the scale face criticism.
Images and maps posted onto the GDACS website show a huge yellow blob with a clear centre headed towards the Philippines.
There are also several other smaller yellow clusters which is the storm formation.
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Cyclones are characterised by inward spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure.
The largest low-pressure systems are polar vortices and extratropical cyclones of the largest scale.
In comparison, a typhoon – also known as a tropical cyclone – is a rapidly rotating storm system characterised by a low-pressure centre, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain or squalls.
News of Mitag comes after the Typhoon Lekima hit China last month.
Lekima was furiously spinning in the Pacific Ocean where it developed in August and was expected to track inland over the coming days.
Forecasters first noted the storm as a tropical depression last week and it organised as a tropical storm.
The storm gathered strong winds of 149 mph, with gusts of 161 mph in places.
Favourable conditions out to sea mean the storm became a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.