People in Taiwan could spend about a third of the days this winter shivering in cooler-than-normal temperatures because of the La Nina phenomenon, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.
Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典), director of the bureau’s weather forecasting center, said that a La Nina event of medium strength would increase the number of cold air masses coming from the north to Taiwan this year.
While the bureau’s forecast showed that the average temperature this winter might still be within the normal range, Cheng said that people will experience a colder winter given the relatively warmer winters they have experienced in the past few years.
Cheng warned that people would also feel sharp changes between cold and hot weather.
“The temperature could potentially drop below 14°C when a cold air mass arrives,” Cheng said at a press conference on the weather forecast for the winter, which generally lasts from -December to February. “It could rise again to 25°C and even to 30°C when there is no cold air mass.”
As an example, Cheng said the temperature on Jan. 13 this year was recorded at 7°C, but the temperature rose to 31.8°C on Feb. 26.
According to Cheng, the situation facing Taiwan this winter resembled that of 1998, when the nation experienced both El Nino in the summer and La Nina in the winter. Statistics from the bureau showed that there were 38 days in the winter of 1998 when temperatures fell below 14°C.
Cheng said a similar scenario could happen this winter, and that Taiwan could experience about 40 days with temperatures below 14°C.
For the weather forecast this week, another northeast monsoon is expected to arrive on Friday, which would bring light rainfall to the northern, northeastern and eastern regions, the bureau said.
It also forecast the first winter cold air mass to arrive next week. Bureau forecaster Hsieh Ming-chang (謝明昌) said the cold front would first approach the nation on Monday next week, followed by the arrival of a strong cold air mass from the north.
“It [the strong cold air mass] is expected to influence the weather from Tuesday to Thursday next week,” Hsieh said. “The temperature in Taipei could potentially slide to 12°C to 13°C and it could get colder in some of the coastal areas.”