Bureau forecasts more rain to ease dry spell

EVERY BIT HELPS::While rainfall in recent days was less than expected, it did help raise water levels in some of the nation’s reservoirs, the Central Weather Bureau said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 27, 2013 - Page 3

The Central Weather Bureau yesterday said that the chances of rain are expected to rise this week following the arrival of convective clouds from southern China, adding that it could slightly ease the imminent drought nationwide.

Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典), director of the bureau’s forecast center, said that a large convective cloud cluster that had formed in southern China could bring substantial rain if it moves further south.

The weather in Taiwan would become hotter and more humid in the following months, he added.

Statistics from the bureau showed that accumulated rainfall between Saturday and Monday in Chenggong (成功), Taitung County, reached 105.1mm.

Rainfall in other mountainous areas also topped 20mm during the same period.

While the amount of rainfall was less than expected, it did raise water levels in reservoirs slightly, the bureau said.

The Water Resources Agency said the rainfall in the catchment area of Shihmen Reservoir, which mainly supplies New Taipei City (新北市), Taoyuan and Hukou (湖口) in Hsinchu, reached only 0.6mm last night.

The slight increase in the water inflow was “better than nothing,” the agency said, adding that reservoirs around the nation are on standby for cloud seeding if the frontal systems arrive.

As of 2pm yesterday, Shihmen Reservoir had about 91.78 million cubic meters of water, placing its storage rate at 44.06 percent.

Agency spokesperson Tien Chiao-ling (田巧玲) said the agency could not carry out cloud seeding without a frontal system, adding that current technology only allows the government to seed clouds carrying water vapor.

The water level in reservoirs and rivers in southern Taiwan would not increase if the frontal system does not move south.

The Taipei Feitsui Reservoir has about 269 million cubic meters of water, a storage rate of 80.35 percent.

The Tsengwen Reservoir in Greater Tainan has a storage rate of about 16 percent.

Separately yesterday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said he had asked the Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration to supplement the water supply to New Taipei City, given the recent water shortage.

The Feitsui Reservoir will do its best to supply Banciao (板橋) and Sinjhuang (新莊) districts in New Taipei City to ease the pressure on the Shihmen Reservoir, Hau said.

Additional reporting by CNA