Sat, Dec 29, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Bureau forecasts dry, cold winter

UNUSUAL CONDITIONS:The Central Weather Bureau said the nation had seen ‘quite a few’ extreme weather patterns this year, including 25 tropical storms and typhoons

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

People in Taiwan can expect a dry and cold winter, Central Weather Bureau (CWB) forecasts showed yesterday.

The bureau’s weather forecast center director Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) said the nation has experienced a warm and humid year up to November.

He said that the sea surface temperature at the equatorial Pacific currently falls within the normal range.

Cheng said that atmospheric models used by the bureau showed that the sea surface temperature off the east coast of Taiwan would be low from next month to March. In the meantime, high sea surface temperatures would occur off the east coast of the Philippines.

Based on past analyses, chances for a dry and cold winter are higher under such circumstances, Cheng said.

Meanwhile, Cheng said the nation would experience its first cold wave this winter when a strong continental cold air mass arrives tonight.

Based on the bureau’s definition, a cold wave occurs when the temperature in Taipei drops to 10°C or below.

Another definition of a cold wave is when the temperature in Taipei drops by 4°C or more within 48 hours to 14°C or below.

The bureau said that the chance of rain would increase today with the arrival of the cold air front. Temperatures would start sliding tomorrow to about 11°C.

Between tomorrow night and Monday morning, temperatures in the coastal plain area could drop further to 8°C. The mercury in the Greater Taipei area could also drop to 10°C.

Although the cold wave is forecast to subside by Tuesday, the bureau warned that the nation would feel the effects of the cold air mass, with cloudy skies forecast nationwide.

Residents in northern regions and outlying islands have a better chance to see next year’s first morning light, it added.

The bureau said the nation has experienced “quite a few” extreme weather spells this year.

Statistics showed that 25 typhoons and tropical storms have formed as of yesterday, which is higher than the yearly average over the past 10 years.

In addition, the nation experienced fewer hours of sunshine this year, with eight of the bureau’s observation centers reporting new records in this category. The accumulated rainfall in this year’s “Plum Rain Season,” on the other hand, was the highest since 1950.

The bureau’s records also showed that Taipei had three days in July in which the mercury rose above 38°C. During the same month, the city also experienced temperatures of 37°C or above for seven days and 36°C for nine days.

All these numbers have broken previous records, the bureau said. While the nation saw less rain before mid-November, rainfall began to increase between mid-November and early this month, it added.

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