Trami Floods Taiwan and China, More Flooding Possible

By Dan DePodwin, Meteorologist
August 23, 2013; 6:20 AM ET
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Satellite image of Trami Wednesday, nearing southeast China. Courtesy of NOAA.

Former Typhoon Trami swept ashore in a little south of Fuzhou, Fujian province, early on Thursday and is now tracking inland over eastern China.

Although Trami is not as strong as it once was, life-threatening flooding will still be possible over parts of southern China, northern Vietnam, northern Laos and Myanmar over the weekend.

These areas have already suffered from deadly flooding during the past month as several tropical cyclones have crossed the region. The death toll from the most recent flooding as reached 70 with more still missing according to Xinhua News Agency.

Rainfall amounts of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) in some areas could quickly lead to flooding problems as the region remains saturated from the recent rains.

Trami has already caused havoc across Taiwan as wind gusts topped 145 km/h (90 mph) in coastal sections of northern Taiwan and a gust to 200 km/h (124 mph) blasted the small northern island of Pengjiayu late Wednesday afternoon, the website of the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau indicated.

An infrared satellite image from Thursday, courtesy of UW-CIMSS, shows a massive swirl of clouds associated with Trami over eastern China and Taiwan, courtesy of UW-CIMSS.

Numerous locations in Taiwan were flooded by over 200 mm (8 inches) of rain. One spot in Taipei City had at least 610 mm (2 feet) of rain. Mountain locations have been inundated by heavy rainfall as well with many reports of over 400 mm (16 inches) of rain, including at least 651 mm (25.6 inches) in Jianshi Township as of Thursday morning, local time, the Weather Bureau website showed. Taichung City has reported 737 mm (29 inches) since Tuesday.

As of Thursday, at least 250 mm (10 inches) of rain had already pelted the coastal city of Pingtan, near where Trami made landfall. Farther inland, more than 175 mm (7 inches) of rain has fallen in Jiuxianxiang.

Unfortunately, this area was hit just last month by Typhoon Soulik. In fact, Trami's site of landfall near Fuzhou was almost the same location where Soulik swept on shore.

The weather is expected to improve over the weekend in Taiwan and eastern China as the moisture from Trami pushes farther southwest. Largely dry weather will favor any cleanup and recovery efforts across the region. A cold front arriving from the north will then bring another threat of rainfall by early next week, although no widespread heavy rainfall is expected at this time. Meteorologists Eric Leister and Jim Andrews contributed to the content of this story.


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