Tue, Mar 01, 2005 - Page 2 News List

CWB says rain, cold to get worse

UNPLEASANT WEATHER As more than 43cm of snow accumulated on the country's highest mountain, forecasters said that this weekend will be extremely cold and wet

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Forecasters at the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday issued more heavy rain and low temperature warnings, saying that more unpleasant days were ahead, and residents in the north might experience temperatures as low as 6 degrees Celsius over the coming weekend.

Forecasters said yesterday that heavy rain will continue through Friday and that residents in mountainous areas of central Taiwan should remain alert.

According to the bureau, the weather over the past weekend was not too bad compared to what is in store for the days ahead.

Yesterday, the lowest temperatures in northern, central and southern Taiwan were 12 degrees Celsius, 14 degrees Celsius, and 16 degrees Celsius respectively.

Yesterday, the lowest temperatures were measured on Yushan, Taiwan's highest mountain, at minus 3.3 degrees Celsius.

It began to snow at 10:30am. Five hours of snow on the mountain resulted in the accumulation of 11cm of snow.

As of yesterday, low temperatures in recent days have led to the accumulation of 43cm of snow on the mountain.

However, forecasters stressed yesterday that the cold and damp weather would get worse on Thursday, when the next cold mass arrives.

Forecasters said that the temperature on outlying islands this week will be lower than 10 degrees Celsius and 3 degrees Celsius might be measured at night. Yesterday morning, the temperature at Matsu was only 5.7 degrees Celsius.

"Beginning Friday, residents in northern Taiwan will have to be alert to temperatures lower than 10 degrees Celsius. We predict that temperatures lower than 6 degrees Celsius will be measured over the weekend," forecaster Chen Yi-liang (陳怡良) said yesterday.

But the rain might end over the weekend, Chen said.

According to forecaster Chang Po-hsiung (張博雄), the bureau's records show that the temperature in March in Taipei has not been under 10 degrees Celsius for a decade.

In March, 1995, temperatures lower than 10 degrees Celsius were measured for two days. They were 8.5 degrees Celsius on March 5 and 8.9 degrees Celsius on March 26. Forecasters said that the coming cold front might cause record low temperatures in the north for the month.

Bad weather over the past weekend affected traffic on the main expressways, leading to more car accidents, officials at the the Taiwan Area National Freeway Bureau said.

According to Wu Mu-fu (吳木富), deputy chief of the bureau's Traffic Control Center, 69 car accidents were reported on Saturday and 51 on Sunday.

The numbers were about double the normal amount.

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