Tropical Storm Nesat remains on track to barrel into Taiwan and southeastern China this weekend, while flooding rain associated with the future typhoon threatens to trigger more flooding in the Philippines.
Nesat, known as Gorio in the Philippines, is expected to strengthen into a typhoon by this weekend.
Before plowing into Taiwan later on Saturday (local time), Nesat’s strength should be equal to that of a strong Category 1 hurricane in the eastern Pacific or Atlantic basins. It is possible that minimal Category 2 hurricane intensity is reached prior to landfall.
Winds and seas will increase as Nesat strengthens, endangering those with shipping interests.
Heavy rain will begin to spread across Taiwan later on Friday night with landfall expected along the east-central coast later on Saturday afternoon or evening.
"The greatest threat to Taiwan will be flooding rainfall," AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis said.
Nesat is expected to unload extreme rainfall totals of 250-500 mm (10-20 inches) in the mountains with 100 to as much as 200 mm (4-8 inches) targeting the more populated southwestern Taiwan this weekend, leading to rapidly rising water, raging rivers and mudslides.
Damaged bridges and road closures may cut off some mountainous communities from receiving aid or supplies in the wake of the storm.
"Wind damage and coastal flooding will be additional concerns and most likely to occur along the east coast of the country," Travis said.
"Wind gusts near or over 175 km/h (110 mph) could cause widespread damage along a portion of the eastern coast," he said. "However, this is not a highly populated area which will help to mitigate the amount of damage."
The track of Nesat should allow Taipei to escape the worst of the typhoon. However, the capital may still face localized flooding downpours and winds strong enough to cause sporadic tree damage and power outages.
The interaction with the mountains of Taiwan will cause Nesat to quickly weaken to a tropical storm before it enters the Taiwan Strait by Sunday.
Regardless, flooding rain will continue to be a concern later on Sunday and into Monday as Nesat pushes into southeastern China and impacts Fujian, eastern Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces.
The risk for flooding, road closures and flight cancellations will be highest in far-eastern Guangdong and southern Fujian where 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain is expected to pour down. These areas will also be most susceptible to any sporadic wind damage.
The torrential rain in southeastern China may not just come just at the hands of Nesat. Another system over the South China Sea will attempt to develop into a tropical depression into this weekend.
If this system does not first get absorbed by Nesat, it could follow in its footsteps into southeastern China and prolong the flood danger.
"Flooding rain will be possible over a prolonged period of time across eastern China, likely into Tuesday or Wednesday of next week," Travis said.
The impacts of Nesat are not just limited to Taiwan and southeastern China. Tropical moisture streaming toward Nesat’s center has already triggered flooding across Luzon Island in the Philippines, a danger that will persist into this weekend.
Manila has been inundated with more than 240 mm (6 inches) of rain since Tuesday night with 127 mm (3.23 inches) falling in just 24 hours.
The resultant flooding forced officials to close all public schools and government offices on Thursday afternoon, CNN Philippines reported.
Additional flooding and mudslides will threaten more lives and property across western Luzon into this weekend as the tropical moisture surge continues.
Elsewhere in the western Pacific Ocean, Typhoon Noru continues to churn to the east-southeast of Japan.
The typhoon will remain over the open waters through the middle of next week, but Travis states that there is a low chance that Noru may begin to track closer to Japan later next week.
"If there are impacts to Japan later next week, there could be significant as Noru may still be a typhoon or tropical storm at landfall," he said.
"However, this track is far from etched in stone. Residents of Japan are urged to continue to monitor the progress of Noru as more details to its future path and impacts become clearer."