Maria upgraded to super typhoon

Taipei, Typhoon Maria was upgraded to a super typhoon Friday afternoon and could affect Taiwan depending on the strength of a Pacific high pressure system, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.

As of 2 p.m., Strong Typhoon Maria was located 2,273 kilometers east-southeast of Taiwan's southernmost tip and moving in a north-northwest direction at a speed of 7 kilometers per hour.

It was carrying maximum sustained winds of 183.6 kph, with gusts of up to 226.8 kph, according to the CWB.

The bureau said several variables continue to affect the storm's track, making it hard to predict.

Maria will not affect Taiwan this week, the CWB said, but a Pacific high pressure system will play a crucial role in the coming days in pushing the storm either closer to or farther away from Taiwan.

According to current projections, both the CWB and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center have the eye of the storm missing Taiwan and heading toward Shanghai, but Taiwan would be affected by the storm's southern periphery.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel