Cold, wet weekend forecast
The moderate weather of the first few days of the year is set to give way to a cold and wet weekend, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. A strong cold air mass from China could send the mercury plunging to the lower teens, with open rural areas likely to see lows of about 11?C, forecasters said. Daytime temperatures are likely to hover between 11?C and 17?C in the north, 11?C and 21?C in central areas, and 13?C and 23?C in the south. The moisture coming in with the cold air could also bring showers to northern and eastern Taiwan, as well as to mountainous areas of central Taiwan during that period. The chill could ease off later on Monday, with lows increasing by one to three degrees nationwide.
Meteor shower shines
Astronomy buffs had the chance to spot shooting stars this morning, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said. The Quadrantid meteor shower peak was expected at 3:30am, when up to 120 meteors per hour were expected to flash through the sky from a radiant in the north. With no interference from the moon, the Quadrantids were this year’s most promising of the three most prolific meteor showers, outshining the Perseids in August and Geminids last month. The Perseid shower has a rate of about 100 meteors per hour from a radiant near the North Star, the museum said. A Geminid meteor shower, which originates from an asteroid instead of a comet, as is most common, occurs when Earth ploughs through the dusty debris from the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. The origin of the Quadrantids remains unclear, but the museum said the meteor shower is most likely debris from Comet 2003 EH1.
Shopping bazaar planned
The first Lunar New Year indoor shopping bazaar, scheduled for later this month, is to feature a festive atmosphere with an exotic touch, the organizers said yesterday. The “Taipei World Trade Center New Year Shopping Fair” is to offer not only traditional Taiwanese dishes, snacks and dried goods, but also items from the US, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Greece and Chile, Taiwan External Trade Development Council president Peter Huang (黃文榮) said. The bazaar will also play host to 80 traditional performances and events, Huang said. The bazaar takes place at the Taipei World Trade Center’s Exhibition Hall 1 from Jan. 16 to Jan. 22 and is expected to attract 100,000 local and foreign buyers, the organizers said. With more than 300 vendors occupying 550 booths, it aims to provide consumers with an alternative to Taipei’s Dihua Street, the traditional destination for shopping ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Discounts to be by age
The legislature yesterday approved an amendment to the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法) stipulating that discount tickets for children should be based on age rather than height. Authorities in charge of the management of public transportation systems and other facilities are required to decide at what age children are eligible for discount tickets and draw up related regulations prior to April 4. The widely used height-based criteria for discount tickets is outdated because children tend to be taller than in the past, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said. Violators of the act can be fined between NT$6,000 and NT$30,000 (US$200 and US$1,000).