Several regions in southern Taiwan were forced to cancel work and school yesterday after being pummeled by torrential rainfall brought by a frontal system that has been lingering around the nation since Wednesday last week.
Offices and schools were closed in Alishan Township (阿里山) in Chiayi County and in the Taoyuan (桃源) and Maolin (茂林) districts in Kaohsiung, information from the Directorate-General of Personal Administration showed.
Some schools in Chiayi County’s Fanlu Township (番路) and Kaohsiung’s Namasiya District (那瑪夏) were also closed.
Central Weather Bureau (CWB) data showed the highest rainfall occurred on the west side of Dawushan (大武山), with the accumulated rainfall topping 440mm between 12am and 7:30pm yesterday. Weiliaoshan (尾寮山) and Dahanshan (大漢山) followed, with the accumulated rainfall reaching 368.5mm and 348mm respectively.
WeatherRisk, a private weather service, said the accumulated rainfall in Dawushan reached 1,112mm over the past 72 hours. The rainfall in the area over the past three days has already accounted for one-third of the nation’s average annual rainfall, it added.
CWB forecast center director Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典) said that the torrential rainfall was caused by a linear convective system that evolved from the front.
“The frontal system was moving from the north to the south on Sunday and the small convective cells emerged one after another and were carried from the west to the east by the southwest wind,” Cheng said. “When viewed from satellite charts, these cells look like smoke coming out of a chimney. As such, they are nicknamed chimney clouds.”
Cheng said the cells were not big, but the rain began to expand from the mountainous area in Chiayi to the mountains in Kaohsiung and Pingtung because they moved inland one after another.
Cheng said that convective cells generally move very slowly, which is why the rain seems endless.
The bureau cautioned people living in Nantou and in the area south of Chiayi to beware of potential torrential rain today because of the continuing influence from the frontal system.
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