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Taiwan and eastern China may face new typhoon threat next week

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Residents of Taiwan, the far-northern Philippines and eastern China should be on alert for potential impacts from a brewing tropical system.

A disorganized tropical system spinning west of Guam is likely to become the next tropical storm and eventual typhoon in the western Pacific Basin. The system will acquire the name Megi.

"By later in the weekend and early next week, the system has a chance to be a typhoon," AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Richards.

The strengthening system will be over the open waters of the northern Philippine Sea into this weekend, posing hazards only to shipping interests as rain, wind and seas increase around its center.

Danger to lives and property will heighten next week as the likely future typhoon takes aim at land.

"I am concerned that between Sunday night into Tuesday night, somewhere in Taiwan and the far-northern Philippines will be affected," Richards said.

This includes Japan's southernmost Ryukyu Islands.

How close to these islands the system tracks will determine the extent of damaging winds and flooding rain. There will also be an inundating storm surge along and north of its center.

If the Philippines escape the worst of the damaging winds and flooding rain, moisture can still be drawn onto western Luzon Island and trigger flash flooding, including in Manila.

"China will also have to keep an eye on this tropical cyclone since it could influence the weather there," Richards said.

One scenario takes the future typhoon into southeastern China during the middle of next week after battering Taiwan and/or the far-northern Philippines.

A closeup look of the brewing tropical system in the western Pacific Ocean. (NOAA satellite)

It is also possible that the system dramatically slows down as it tracks near or over Taiwan early next week. In this scenario, the risk of life-threatening flooding and mudslides will become even more dire as the island will be inundated with rounds of torrential rain.

The mountainous terrain of Taiwan would weaken the system, but it could still eventually reach eastern China later next week. While the risk of damaging winds will lessen as the system weakens, flooding rain would remain a danger.

If the system tracks closer to the Philippines than Taiwan before slowing down, the extreme flood risk would instead threaten Luzon Island early next week.

The system has already been designated as a tropical depression by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has yet to follow suit, but will likely in the next day or two as the system churns in an environment conducive for strengthening.