By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
June 2,2017, 11:52:36AM,EDT
One person is dead after moisture from former-Tropical Cyclone Mora led to quick-hitting torrential rainfall and major flooding in northern Taiwan on Friday.
Extreme rainfall in excess of 150 mm (6 inches) was unleashed in a matter of hours.
Out of the 163 mm (6.42 inches) of rain that inundated Taipei on Friday, 120 mm (4.72 inches) fell in just two hours, according to data obtained by Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau.
Northern parts of New Taipei City were hit the hardest with rain totals exceeding 300 mm (12 inches).
“The majority of that rain occurred with a 12-hour period,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty said.
Flooding quickly swamped the area and turned streets into rivers, including in Taipei. Flooded tracks disrupted rail traffic.
One woman was killed when she was swept away by the flood waters while riding a motorcycle in the Bali District of New Taipei City, Taiwan News reported. Two other people are missing.
Schools and universities were forced to close. Flood waters inundated Boling Kindergarten in Taipei, forcing students and staff to evacuate to a nearby building.
Some schools are expected to remain closed into Saturday.
More than 300 flights were delayed at Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport on Friday, according to FlightAware.
“Moisture from what was once Tropical Cyclone Mora moved along the Mei-yu front across southeastern China and Taiwan, leading to the very heavy rainfall,” Douty said.
“The Mei-yu front is a semi-stationary boundary that forms during the late spring and summer across southeastern Asia.”
This front is notorious for triggering torrential rainfall, Douty added.
Douty expects additional rounds of rainfall along the front to exacerbate the flood risk into this weekend.
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“While the heaviest rain has likely fallen, additional rainfall through Sunday may be heavy with over 100 mm (4 inches) likely in some areas of Taiwan,” he said.
The heaviest downpours are likely to focus on southern Taiwan on Saturday before spreading back to the north on Sunday.
"Taipei may catch a break on Saturday with only lighter and more isolated showers and thunderstorms," Douty said. "However, more numerous downpours may return to end the weekend and could drop an additional 25-50 mm (1-2 inches)."
Any substantial rain will trigger new or worsen ongoing flooding, putting more lives and property at risk. Roads and bridges can be damaged, while already swollen rivers may further rise out of their banks.
Never walk or drive across a flooded road or bridge as the roadway underneath may be washed away or the current below the surface may be unsuspectingly flowing dangerously too fast.
A mere 300 mm (12 inches) of fast-flowing water can sweep away a small car.
The risk of downpours across Taiwan will lessen early next week.