Mercury forecast to fall, rain intensify today

TAIPEI (CNA) – Temperatures are forecast to fall around Taiwan today, with rainfall expected to intensify as a result of the northeastern monsoon and heavier cloud cover, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The CWB said the continuing effect of the wind system along with cloud cover from South China will see day time temperatures fall 7-8 degrees Celsius from a day earlier to 17-18 degrees in northern Taiwan today, drop 3-4 degrees to 23 degrees in central Taiwan and decline 2-3 degrees to 27 degrees in the south.

Night time temperatures are likely to fall to 14-15 degrees in northern Taiwan, 17-18 degrees in central areas, and 19 degrees in the south, the CWB said, urging the public to keep warm at night.

The bureau said rain is expected to affect areas around Taiwan today with northern, northeastern and eastern areas to experience continued wet conditions, while elsewhere, sporadic showers are forecast in mountainous regions.

Due to the on-going weather front, the CWB said, strong winds and large waves are possible in areas north of Tainan and Taitung in the southeast, including Green Island and Orchid Island, as well as the Hengchun Peninsula in the south and outlying Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu islands.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said the rain helped wash away pollutants in the air, improving air conditions today.

The air quality in some areas of northern and central Taiwan, Yilan and Hualien in the east, and Kinmen and Penghu islands was fair today, according to the EPA.

However, the Air Quality Index (AQI) flashed an “orange alert” in some parts of Yunlin, Chiayi, and Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties and cities, indicating unhealthy levels of pollutants for sensitive groups, the EPA said.

By Chang Ming-kun and Frances Huang