Massive seasonal rains set 55-year record highs

VERY WET SEASON::Central Weather Bureau observation facilities across the nation have recorded much-higher-than-average precipitation during this year’s plum rains

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 3

The average accumulated rainfall during the plum rain season, which is scheduled to end this month, has hit the highest amount recorded in 55 years, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday.

The plum rain season generally lasts from May to June.

As of Saturday, the nation’s 13 key observation centers had an average accumulated rainfall of 867mm, which had surpassed the previous record of 853mm set in 1957.

These centers have been around for more than 60 years and the data they collected is used to represent the accumulated precipitation for the entire nation, the bureau said.

Of the 13 observation centers, the facility located in Dawu (大武) topped the others by having accumulated 1,292.8mm of precipitation as of Saturday. Statistics showed that Dawu had received only 184mm of rainfall last month, but the volume of rain shot up by about 1,100mm this month.

Dawu was followed by Pingtung County’s Hengchun and then Greater Tainan, which collected 1,212.8mm and 1,206mm of rainfall respectively.

Chia Hsin-Hsing (賈新興), chief of the bureau’s forecast section, said their report showed that only the rainfall measured in the observation centers in Hsinchu County, Greater Taichung, Wuci (梧棲) in Greater Taichung and Dongji Isle (東吉島) in Penghu County were within the normal range of the plum rain season.

The bureau added that the amount of rain measured in Yilan City observation center from last month to this month had also set a new record, the highest level of precipitation seen in the area since the center was established in 1935. The amount of rain measured in Suao (蘇澳) in Yilan County and Dawu was the second-highest since the observation centers in these two places were established in 1979 and 1939 respectively.

The other observation centers are in Keelung, Taipei, Tamsui (淡水) in New Taipei City (新北市), Greater Kaohsiung, Hualien City, Greater Taitung and Chenggong (成功) in Taitung County.

In related news, the bureau confirmed yesterday that it had spent NT$500 million (US$16.7 miillion) on a three-year purchase plan for “super computers” from Japan.

The computers will be used to enhance the accuracy of the nation’s weather forecast, the bureau said, adding that the first set is scheduled to arrive by the end of this year.