Mon, Mar 18, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Weathermen hope they'll be singing in the rain on Friday

STAFF WRITER

Meteorologists are pinning their rain hopes on a front expected to hit the nation this coming Friday after drizzle over the weekend proved inadequate to ease the water shortage facing northern Taiwan.

The precipitation over the past four days brought only small amounts of water to reservoirs across northern Taiwan and was not enough to satisfy daily water needs.

Ten hydrology stations located in the catchment area of the Shihmen Reservoir measured around 30mm of precipitation over four days, around 10 percent of which was attributed to artificially induced rain.

The rain brought 1.08 million tonnes of water to the reservoir on Saturday, well above the 690,000-tonne average daily flow. But the rain fizzled out by yesterday morning and the inflow was not enough to maintain the reservoir's water level, which fell by 9cm to 217.43m yesterday.

Yesterday's rain-making efforts resulted in showers over Keelung, Chungli and Taoyuan, but failed to bring significant rainfall in the dam's catchment areas.

Up to 15 stations had been set up on the ground around the reservoir to work in coordination with air force planes equipped with rain-making devices.

Meteorologists said it would take around 70mm to 80mm of rainfall to ease the water shortage in northern Taiwan.

Water levels at the Paoshan Reservoir in Hsinchu County and several reservoirs in the Miaoli area also rose slightly or stopped falling after the rain.

Rain clouds are likely to leave Taiwan today, but another cold front is expected to bring more rain beginning Friday.

The Central Weather Bureau has called on the public to use water frugally.

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