Worst cold spell in 10 years to hit Taiwan this weekend


TAIPEI — Residents of many parts of Taiwan may have to endure what feel like below zero temperatures from Jan. 23 to 25 as the worst cold wave in 10 years sweeps the country, the Central Weather Bureau said Tuesday.

The mercury is forecast to drop on Jan. 23, but the coldest temperatures are expected to be seen on Jan. 24 and 25, and “apparent temperatures” — the temperature the human body feels — could fall below zero, the bureau said.

On Jan. 23, the apparent temperature could reach lows of 6 degrees in New Taipei, 5 degrees in Taipei, 4 degrees in Taichung and Kaohsiung, 2 degrees in Tainan, 1 degree in Hsinchu County, and zero degrees in Hsinchu City and Miaoli County.

On Jan. 24, the apparent temperature could fall to a low of minus 1 degree in Hsinchu City and to a low of minus 1 to minus 2 degrees the following day in Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City and Miaoli County, bureau data showed.

Over those two days, apparent temperatures could dip to 2-3 degrees in Taipei, 3-4 degrees in New Taipei, 2 degrees in Taichung, 2-3 degrees in Kaohsiung and 1 degree in Tainan, all roughly 3-5 degrees lower than the actual recorded temperature.

The Central Weather Bureau said the apparent temperature factors in relative humidity and the effect of the wind, with the latter expected to be the main factor this weekend.

It said a wind speed of more than 36 kilometers per hour can push the apparent temperature 6 degrees below the actual temperature.

Even without humidity and wind speeds factored in, this weekend’s cold front is expected to be the worst since 2005, when temperatures of 5.6 Celsius degrees in Taipei and 4.4 degrees in Chiayi were recorded on March 6 that year.