Tue, Feb 06, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Another cold air mass to arrive this weekend: bureau

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A garlic farmer in Yunlin County yesterday braves the cold to check on her crop.

Photo: Chan Shih-hung, Taipei Times

Another cold air mass is to arrive this weekend, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday, adding that the temperature in northern Taiwan could dip as low as 11°C.

The cold wave that has hovered over the nation since Friday last week is expected to weaken tomorrow morning, bureau forecaster Lin Po-tung (林伯東) said.

However, the chance of rain would be high tomorrow and Thursday due to humidity from the south, which would in turn limit the rise in temperature, Lin said.

The daytime temperature is expected to be between 13°C and 15°C in the north, and between 16°C and 18°C in central and southern Taiwan, he said, adding that the early-morning temperature on Thursday and Friday is expected to be between 10°C and 12°C.

The rain is expected to ease on Friday with the daytime temperature rising to between 19°C and 25°C in the north and even higher in central and southern Taiwan, Lin said.

The temperature is forecast to dip again over the weekend due to the arrival of another cold air mass, Lin said, adding that the bureau is reviewing data to estimate the approximate time of its arrival.

Nevertheless, the cold air mass would not reach the standard to be called a cold wave, but it could still be strong enough to bring temperatures in the north down to between 11°C and 12°C, Lin said.

Instead of lingering as the cold wave has done over the past few days, the cold air mass would only affect the nation from Saturday to Monday next week, Lin said.

“Except for the north and northeast, which still have a high chance of precipitation, the rest of the nation is to experience cold, but dry weather,” he said.

Based on the bureau’s official definition, a “continental cold air mass” causes the temperature in Taipei to drop to between 12°C and 14°C, whereas a “strong continental cold air mass” causes the temperature in Taipei to drop to between 10°C and 12°C.

A cold wave refers to an atmospheric system that causes the temperature in Taipei to dip below 10°C.

Cold waves usually happen from December to March, with a higher percentage occurring in January, bureau data showed.

Weather data collected by the bureau between 1981 and 2010 show that a cold wave generally affects the nation for an average of 6.5 days.

Yangmingshan and Datunshan in the north yesterday reported snowfall due to the cold wave.

Farmers are using plastic or non-woven cloth to protect their seedlings from cold damage.

Although garlic is more resistant to the cold, it could still be damaged if the temperature drops lower than 9°C, a farmer in Yunlin County’s Cihtong Township (莿桐) said, adding that this year’s harvest would depend on the weather.

Meanwhile, pear trees in Taichung’s Dongshih (東勢), Heping (和平) and Houli (后里) districts — covering about 3,000 hectares — are entering their blossoming season.

Half of the pear ears might be damaged by the cold wave, local farmers said, adding that they expect farmers’ associations to help them apply for compensation for their losses.

While most farmland is in a fallow period, pear trees are more susceptible to cold damage, the Taichung Agriculture Bureau said, adding that it would survey the municipality’s agricultural losses after the cold wave leaves and ask for financial help from the central government.

Additional reporting by Chan Shih-hung and Chang Hsuan-che

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