Cold surge blankets Taiwan

It has snowed on Tai-ping Mountain in Yilan this morning. (photo by NOWNews)

By Wang Shu-fen, Hsiao Po-yang and Y.F. Low

Taipei, (CNA) ─ A cold surge took its grip on Taiwan Saturday, sending temperatures plunging across the country and bringing snow again to Yushan and Hehuanshan, two of Taiwan’s highest mountains, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.

Snowfall reaching 0.6 centimeters was recorded on Yushan from 4:30 a.m. to 5:50 a.m., bringing the total accumulation there to 8.6 cm so far this winter, CWB data showed. At some locations on Hehuanshan, snow accumulation has reached up to 12 cm.

Meanwhile, on Taipingshan mountain in Yilan County, 0.5 cm of snow was recorded Saturday morning. In low-lying areas, temperatures in the early hours of Saturday hovered between 9-11 degrees Celsius in all regions from Tainan northward and in Yilan, while they ranged from 13-15 degrees in Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Hualien and Taitung, the bureau said. The lowest temperature, 8.9 degrees, was recorded in Taoyuan’s Xinwu District and in Hsinchu, it said.

Daytime highs on Saturday were forecast at 10-12 degrees Celsius in northern and eastern Taiwan, whereas highs in other areas will drop 5-6 degrees from Friday, to 13-14 degrees in central Taiwan, and 15-17 degrees in the south and east, according to the CWB. The CWB warned that temperatures across Taiwan will drop even lower over the next two days, particularly in northern Taiwan, where they will be below 10 degrees for 48 hours or longer.

With a cloud system moving in from southern China, prolonged rainfall is expected in northern and northeastern Taiwan in the coming days, especially on the northern coast and in the mountainous areas of Taipei, New Taipei and Yilan, the bureau said. Also, there is a chance of snowfall at elevations over 1,000 meters in northern Taiwan late Saturday, it added.