Tue, Sep 16, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Nation sees record high temperatures

NATION TURNS PURPLE:The heat is caused by foehn winds, a change in the direction of the wind, meaning hot air is blown down from the Central Mountain Range

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Terrapins in Greater Kaohsiung yesterday rest on a shaded platform.

Photo: CNA

Warm winds blowing down from the Central Mountain Range caused the temperature in Greater Kaohsiung to reach 37.6°C before noon yesterday, the highest temperature recorded since the observation station in Kaohsiung was established in 1932.

Statistics from the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) showed the new record was set at 11:49am. Previously, the highest temperature in the city was recorded on June 22, 1980, with the mercury climbing to 37.2°C.

Meanwhile, the temperature in Shinwu Township (新屋) in Taoyuan County reached 37.9°C yesterday, the highest temperature ever recorded in the county. Prior to yesterday, the highest temperature recorded in the town was 36.6°C, which was on July 21 this year.

The temperature in Hsinchu reached 37.5°C, and that in Greater Taichung and New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) was 36.5°C and 36.3°C respectively.

The observation center in Chiayi recorded a temperature of 35.5°C yesterday afternoon, the highest seen in September since the center was built in 1968.

The unusual jump in temperature caused bureau forecaster Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) to comment on his Facebook page that he had never seen such a “purple” Taiwan in September. Purple is the color used by the bureau to mark an area with a temperature of more than 36°C. Cheng said last week that there is a chance that the high temperatures of this month could set a new national record.

Forecaster Lin Jhih-hui (林智暉) said the nation experienced wind from the east yesterday because Typhoon Kalmaegi was passing near the coast of southern Taiwan. A dry, warm, down-slope wind was created when this wind blew over the Central Mountain Range, causing a rise in temperature.

Former director of the bureau’s forecast center Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said the wind from the east prevented humidity from the ocean, that typically makes landfall before noon, from blowing onshore.

“In Taiwan, extremely high temperatures occur if there is a typhoon near the nation which causes an apparent change in the direction of the wind. The phenomenon, known as a ‘foehn wind,’ happens in places that are on the leeward side of a mountain,” Wu said.

According to the bureau’s weekly forecast, temperatures are to drop slightly after Friday, when high temperatures are likely to drop to 29°C because of rain.

Today, the bureau forecast that showers or thundershowers would be seen in the nation’s southeastern and southern regions. Cloudy to sunny weather is forecast for the rest of the nation.

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