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Budding tropical threat may unleash flooding downpours over Philippines on track toward China

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A budding tropical system threatens to bring flooding rain to the Philippines into this weekend with potential future impacts on China and Taiwan.

An area of low pressure is expected to strengthen gradually as it churns northwestward through the Philippine Sea into this weekend. By Sunday, it is predicted to be a tropical storm east of northern Luzon Island.

The next tropical storm in the northwestern Pacific Ocean will acquire the international name of "Nida," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Spamer.

Initially, the western fringe of the system's downpours will graze Samar and Catanduanes islands of the central Philippines. Localized flash flooding may result.

As the system strengthens this weekend, rain and wind will increase around it.

Seas will also build across the Philippine Sea, creating hazards for shipping interests and rough surf for swimmers along the east coast of the Philippines. Swimmers at the western beaches may also encounter elevated surf and rip current risk this weekend.

A more significant flood risk will unfold across northern Luzon from Sunday into Monday as the system approaches and then tracks onshore or just to the north.

The slow movement of the system could yield 150-300 mm (6-12 inches) of rain with locally higher amounts in the mountains. In addition, flooding and life-threatening mudslides may result.

The strength and proximity of the system to northern Luzon will determine the extent of the damaging winds that could bring power outages, tree damage and local structural damage.

"Manila looks to miss the worst of this system with the strongest wind and rains off to the north," Spamer said. "However, some waves of heavy rain will still be possible next week as the system passes by to the north and a southwesterly wind develops."

The system will likely strengthen into a typhoon after departing Luzon, and residents of Taiwan and China are being put on alert for potential impacts during the early and middle part of next week.

Scenarios for the system next week range from it continuing northwestward toward Taiwan then eastern China, potentially impacting Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, or turning toward Hong Kong and the rest of China's Guangdong Province.

"The most likely scenario looks for the system to track into southern China," Spamer said. "Landfall is possible for the middle of next week."

The system has a greater chance of becoming a significant typhoon in this scenario than if it tracks toward Taiwan. Land interaction would limit significant strengthening in the Taiwan to eastern China scenario, according to Spamer.

Flooding rain will continue to accompany the system regardless of its strength and track. The risk of destructive winds, dangerous seas and an inundating storm surge will increase as the system intensifies.

If the system moves into southern China, flooding rain will endanger communities farther inland later next week as the system weakens.

On the other hand, heavy rain and gusty winds could spread to the Korean Peninsula later next week if the more northward track toward Taiwan and eastern China unfolds.