Sun, Mar 13, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Clammy weather to follow cold

CHILLY WEEKEND The mercury slumped yesterday as yet another cold wave came through, and the weather bureau said clamminess could continue through Friday

By Wang Hsiao-wen  /  STAFF REPORTER

The nation faced another bitterly cold weekend, with more rain forecast for parts of the country today, the Central Weather Bureau reported yesterday.

As a cold wave swept across the country, the mercury was expected to drop all over Taiwan plummet below 6?C early this morning.

Today's temperatures will hover between 7?C and 13?C in the north, 8?C to 16?C in the central region, and 11?C to 18?C in the slightly warmer south.

According to the Bureau, eastern seaboard counties will see the mercury range between 8?C and 18?C today, while temperatures on outlying islands will dip between 6?C and 16?C.

As the recent cold front met warmer air, it also brought rain yesterday, but that should slightly abate today, the bureau said.

It urged residents in remote mountainous areas to be alert for potential mudslides after the heavy rain.

Mountainous areas attracted more visitors who came to see rare March snow that capped Taiwan's peaks last week.

But the bureau said the snow may have all melted by tomorrow.

"This weekend may be the last chance to see March snow on Yushan and Hohuanshan," a bureau forecaster said.

Although the cold snap should end tomorrow, clammy weather is expected to continue until Friday, the bureau predicted.

The Council of Agriculture urged farmers to cloak their crop with plastic sheets or put a thin layer of rice stalks over tea trees to guard against the cold.

The cold front last week caused about NT$1.1 billion in agricultural losses, the worst such losses in 10 years.

gas threat

Meanwhile, health officials advised people to exercise great caution in using in-house gas heating systems.

Official figures show that 29 people have died and 154 people were injured in the 68 reported cases of carbon monoxide poisoning so far this year -- ?an unprecedented number.

Amid the recent spate of carbon monoxide poisoning, the Department of Health reminded people to make sure of adequate ventilation while using gas heaters for showering.

Health officials noted that many of those killed by carbon monoxide had actually opened the windows while running gas heaters.

But officials warned that opening windows may not provide adequate ventilation in densely packed urban apartment buildings.

According to the health authority, there are typically around 8 to 10 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning each winter, when people are prone to stay closed up in their apartments to shut away chilly weather.

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