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Flash Flood Watch

Flooding to threaten southern China, Philippines and Taiwan regardless of tropical development

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Adam Douty, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 23, 2019, 11:41:52 AM EDT

Even if a tropical depression never forms in the Philippine Sea, flooding rain will threaten residents from southern China to Taiwan and across the Philippines into the end of June.

The cluster of showers and thunderstorms currently churning to the east of the Philippines may develop into a tropical depression over the warm waters of the Philippine Sea this week.

"The depression may then have a difficult time become a stronger storm," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk.

6/23 W pac

Regardless, AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to closely monitor the feature in case latest trends shift toward a stronger storm taking shape.

If a tropical storm does develop, the central Ryukyu Islands will be at the greatest risk for a period of heavy rain and gusty wind during the second half of the week. The system, however, should not become strong enough to cause significant damage.

Even if a tropical depression never forms, residents from southern China to Japan and the Philippines should not let their guard down. Flooding downpours that may not be related to this tropical feature are expected.

"Even without the tropical system, there will be a few periods of heavy rainfall through the coming week from southeast China into Taiwan and northward through the Ryukyu Islands as several storms move along the Mei-yu front that will fluctuate south and north across the region," Houk said.

The Mei-yu front is a semi-stationary boundary that is draped across southeastern Asia from late spring through the summer and is notorious for triggering torrential rainfall.

6/23 China

The onslaught of heavy rain will continue in southern China, where at least 24 people were killed amid flooding earlier this month.

On Saturday night, 136 mm (5.35 inches) of rain fell in a short period of time in Hechi, one of the areas impacted by floods earlier in June.

From Friday into Saturday, 150-200 mm (6-8 inches) of rain fell in some parts of eastern China from Hunan to Jiangxi, including in Yichun and Pucheng.

Early this week, the heavy rain will focus on the corridor from southern China to northern Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands. The downpours can trigger new or exacerbate ongoing flooding and mudslides.

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In the hardest-hit areas, there can be an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 400 mm (16 inches).

There is also concern for the flood risk to ramp up across the Philippines during the middle and latter part of the week.

While localized issues may develop elsewhere in the nation, the greatest flood danger may unfold over western Luzon and Mindoro islands as tropical moisture streams in from the west and southwest and is wrung out over the mountains.

Manila may be among the communities facing this heightened flood threat.

Residents across the Philippines and from southern China to Japan who live in areas prone to flooding and mudslides should remain vigilant of the situation. Be ready to evacuate if the weather becomes dire or when prompted by local officials.

Motorists throughout these regions are reminded to never drive through flooded roads and bridges. Doing so may put your life and those of your occupants in danger.

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