Mon, May 28, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Temperatures set records nationwide, ‘plum rains’ delayed

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

People shade themselves from the sun in Taipei yesterday, where the temperature hit 38.8°C.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The mercury reached 38.2°C in Taipei yesterday, the highest May temperature recorded by the weather observation station in the city since its establishment in 1892, the Central Weather Bureau said.

The previous record was set in 1991, when the mercury hit 37.7°C.

Yesterday’s record temperature was measured at 11:17am, the bureau said, adding that it was also the highest temperature recorded nationwide this year.

The temperature in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) reached 37.2°C, also a new monthly record, breaking the previous record set in 1971.

The observation station in Taichung recorded a high of 36.2°C, another monthly record since the station’s establishment 122 years ago.

The mercury reached 33.7°C in Kinmen, the county’s highest May temperature in 14 years.

The nationwide high temperatures were caused by a Pacific high-pressure system centered above Taiwan that caused airflow to subside, bureau forecaster Chang Cheng-chuan (張承傳) said.

Warm air from southern China and the urban heat-island effect were also contributing factors, Chang added.

With the summer approaching, the likelihood of such temperature spikes depends on changes in the atmospheric environment, Chang said.

As the high-pressure system is expected to weaken today, the bureau forecast highs of 33°C to 34°C for Taipei, Chang added.

Although Taiwan has entered the “plum rain” season, the nation has yet to see a stationary front that brings consecutive days of rain, which is also a new record.

The previous record for the latest arrival of a stationary front was in 2009, when a front did not arrive until May 26.

The lack of rains led Tainan and Penghu County on Thursday to implement the first phase of water rationing, in which nighttime water pressure is reduced.

The bureau last month forecast that the amount of rainfall in this year’s plum rain season would either be within or under the normal range.

A stationary front might arrive in the second week of next month, the bureau said.

Cloudy to sunny skies are forecast for most parts of the nation today, with isolated morning showers on the east and southwest coasts, the bureau said.

Afternoon thundershowers are forecast for northern and northeastern Taiwan as well as the mountainous areas, it said.

Between tomorrow and Thursday, a frontal system will pass off Taiwan’s northern coast, causing isolated showers or thundershowers in the northern and northeastern regions, the bureau said.

Afternoon thundershowers are forecast for the mountainous areas on the west coast as well eastern and southeastern regions, the bureau added.

From Friday to Saturday, isolated showers and thundershowers are forecast for the northern and northeastern regions, as well as Hualien and Taitung counties, as the high-pressure system moves east and the frontal system moves from north to south, it said.

The bureau also forecast afternoon thundershowers for plains and mountainous areas in central and southern Taiwan.

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