The 14th typhoon to form in the north-west Pacific in 2016 is on track to hit Taiwan on the first day of the Mid-autumn Festival long weekend, according to Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau.
Forecast charts published Saturday, September 10, predict the tropical storm will pass over Taiwan in the morning hours of Thursday, September 15, which happens to be the first day of a four-day holiday.
Typhoon Meranti is currently around 2000km from Taiwan, and moving at a speed of 20km per hour. This leaves a lot of potential for the storm to deviate from its predicted path.
Mid-autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is a traditional Chinese holiday when families get together to spend an evening outdoors to enjoy the full moon. In Taiwan’s modern history it has become popular to spend the holiday evenings enjoying a barbecue outdoors.
The four day holiday this year also provides an opportunity for people to travel abroad to nearby Asian destinations. The typhoon has the potential to affect the travel and holiday plans of millions of people.
Weather Wunderground predicts Meranti will hit Taiwan one day earlier than the CWB forecast. According to WW’s chart, the storm will affect Taiwan mostly on Wednesday, and should be over China by Thursday.
Typhoon Meranti 2016 is the third typhoon to carry the name. The years 2004 and 2010 also saw typhoons named Meranti.