Chilly 228 ahead as rain lashes the nation

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Seasonal northeasterly winds and the continental air mass will increase in strength today, as the Central Weather Bureau forecasts drizzly and colder temperatures for Northern Taiwan and the northeast coast. Temperatures are set to drop drastically today, going as low as 14 degrees Celsius in northern Taiwan and 11 C along the coast and in open spaces. In central and Southern Taiwan, which has seen days of balmy weather in the past week, could see temperature drop to 15 to 17 C, too. A large daily temperature difference is forecasted, as the weather bureau advised people to bring thicker coats and umbrellas in case of a chilly breeze at night. A torrential rain is expected in central and northern Taiwan, while scattered showers are forecasted in southern and southeastern parts of Taiwan. This wet and gloomy weather is expected to last for four to five days as the cold air mass grows weak by next Wednesday. Weather expert Wu Der-rong said that the apparent temperature could be lower that than the actual temperature, warning that citizens should prepare warm clothes and appropriate footwear. Authorities and NGOs are particularly cautious in face of this coming cold front, as more than 100 people died in the last one early February, most of whom were elderly. From Friday to Monday, snow can be expected in mountains higher than 3,000 meters, Wu said, with high humidity and the temperature dropping below zero degrees Celsius. On air conditions, the Environmental Protection Administration’s Air Quality Index recorded improved air quality from earlier this week, with most parts in Taiwan ranging between safe to regular levels. Only cities in central Taiwan, including Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan issued an orange alert, indicating unsafe air for sensitive groups. Travelers heading to the offshore islands of Kinmen and Mat su are advised to check their flight status due to low clouds and fog in the area. Showers Replenish Reservoirs Reservoirs in northern Taiwan received much needed resupply on Wednesday as thunderstorms and periods of heavy rain poured across the Greater Taipei area. The Water Resources Agency estimated that the Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) received approximately 2.5 million tons of water by Wednesday afternoon.

Artificially induced precipitation also contributed to the supply. The agency had on Tuesday issued first-stage water restrictions in Hsinchu, Taoyuan, New Taipei’s Linkou, Banqiao and Xinzhuang, to take effect on March 1. While Wednesday’s rainfall brought slight relief to the regions, water supply is still short, the Northern Region Water Resources Office’s Deputy Director Chiu Chung-chuan (邱忠川) said. Water restrictions will be implemented as planned, Chiu said, while warning residents to conserve water.