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CWB warns tropical storm may develop into typhoon

TAIPEI--Tropical Storm Guchol was continuing to strengthen and could become a potential threat to Taiwan next week, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.

The bureau said Guchol could be upgraded to a typhoon if it increases in strength, but added that it is too early to say if it will make a direct hit on Taiwan.

June 16 will be a crucial time to determine Guchol's future development, the bureau said, adding that the storm will have moved closer to Taiwan by June 18 if it maintains its current speed and direction.

As of Thursday morning, Guchol was centered 1,960 km east of Taiwan's southern tip, moving at a speed of 21 kph in a west-northwesterly direction and packing maximum sustained winds of 90 kph, with gusts reaching 119 kph.

Meanwhile, Taiwan remained under the influence of a strong weather front that has caused torrential rain island-wide, the bureau noted.

The unstable weather pattern could settle after the front leaves over the weekend, although the outer rim of Guchol could bring further rain, the bureau warned.

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