Wed, Dec 31, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Clouds may obscure 2009's first sunrise

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Those tempted to get up early to catch the first sunrise of the new year may be disappointed as the thick clouds hovering above the nation may obscure the view, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.

“What we can tell you is the approximate time that the sun rises from the horizon in different observation stations,” said Daniel Wu (吳德榮), director of the CWB's forecast center. “Should the clouds get thicker, early risers on the East Coast may not see the sun until noon.”

The bureau said the nation's earliest sunrise tomorrow will occur in Lanyu (蘭嶼) at around 6:33am, followed by Green Island and Kenting (墾丁) at 6:34am and 6:35am respectively.

Wu added that the temperature tonight is likely to drop to 13ºC. Temperatures would slide further tomorrow and Friday to a low of 10ºC, but are expected to warm by Saturday, Wu said.

Meanwhile, snow may fall on Yushan (玉山) today because the air has sufficient moisture. However, the public may not see snow tomorrow or Friday as the air is expected to get drier.

Stargazers, on the other hand, will be able to clearly see the Quadrantids meteor shower on Saturday at around 9pm.

Cheng Chen-fong (鄭振豐), a specialist with the bureau's astronomy division, said the meteor shower would appear between tomorrow and next Monday.

“You can see the peak of the meteor shower on Saturday. On other days, you could probably see one meteor once every two hours,” Cheng said.

In a press briefing yesterday, the bureau also forecast the general weather condition from next month to March.

Wu said that the water temperature near the equator in the Central and the East Pacific Ocean remains low, with the average reaching only minus 0.7ºC. The average temperature of these three months may still be close to the climatological mean, he added. The aggregate rainfall during this time could fall within the normal range as well, he said.

The bureau also reviewed the general weather conditions for this year. For one, Sun Moon Lake set the record this year for having an accumulated rainfall of 3,821.1mm — 1.6 times more than its average over the past 67 years. Typhoons Kalmegi and Sinlaku both contributed to the increase in rainfall.

The average temperature was ranked the seventh highest in the past 11 years.

The bureau forecast earlier this year that about 26 to 29 typhoons would form this year, but actually there were only 22.

The UK predicted that 28 typhoons would form this year, whereas Hong Kong said the number could top 30.

The bureau forecast that between three and five typhoons would actually hit the nation. In reality, four typhoons hit Taiwan during the typhoon season.

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