The temperature in Taipei broke an 82-year-old record yesterday, hitting 38.7℃ , according to the Central Weather Bureau.
Air currents from Typhoon Etau, now battering Japan, brought rainfall yesterday to eastern and southern Taiwan.
But in the drought-stricken north, people can walk across the dry bed of the Hsintien River.
The temperature hit the record at 1:05pm yesterday.
According to the bureau, the previous record of 38.6℃ was set on July 31, 1921.
"It's because Taipei Basin is on the leeward side in the summer when southwest wind blows," said Wu Wan-hua (
Wu said that the weather was affected by peripheral winds induced by Typhoon Etau.
In addition, foehn winds, warm dry winds coming off the lee slopes of a mountain range, heated the basin.
The highest temperature this year, 39.2℃ , was set on May 7 in Tawu township, Taitung County, due to the effects of foehn winds.
The all-time high record in Taiwan, 39.6℃ , was also set in Tawu in May 1998.
Weather forecasters said yesterday that residents in the north should be prepared for possible water shortages because the rainfall for this month and next month may remain low.
According to Chen Guay-hong (
"The sub-high currently covering part of China and all of Taiwan is extraordinarily strong this year," Chen said.
Beginning today, Keelung City will impose a second phase of water restrictions, which will affect some industrial users.
The measure is designed to limit the consumption of water at Keelung's Hsinshan Reservoir.
According to the Water Resources Agency, the reservoir will be empty by early next month in the absence of a heavy rainfall.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs will convene a meeting on Aug. 14 to review the latest rainfall records and water levels. The ministry will study the possibility of tighter water restrictions in the north.
Officials at the Feitsui Reservoir Administration under the Taipei City Government urged residents to conserve water.
The Feitsui Reservoir, one of the major water suppliers to the north, gained only 36.5mm of rainfall last month. It's level last month hit a record low for July.
Officials said that water supplies to the residential sector would not be affected before the end this month but added that tougher restrictions may be imposed in Taipei next month.
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