The mercury in Taipei hit 39.3°C yesterday afternoon, the highest temperature recorded in the city by the Central Weather Bureau since records began 117 years ago.
The city’s observation station has been in the plaza in front of the bureau’s headquarters on Gongyuan Road since 1896.
Data from the bureau showed that the city’s previous record high temperature was set on Aug. 9, 2003, when the temperature reached 38.8°C.
The bureau said the temperature rose to 38.8°C at 1:16pm yesterday, which tied the record set in 2003. It went up further to 38.9°C at 1:44pm, setting a new record, but that did not last long, as the temperature reached 39.3°C at 1:58pm.
Aside from being the highest temperature recorded in the city, the temperature yesterday was also the seventh-highest temperature recorded in the nation in 117 years.
Data from the bureau also showed that most of the historic high temperatures in Taipei have occurred in the past 10 years.
The nation’s highest temperature was recorded in Taitung City on May 9, 2004, when the mercury hit 40.2°C.
The high temperature in Taitung was caused by a foehn wind, the bureau said.
The second-highest temperature of 39.9°C was recorded in Taichung City on July 1, 2004. That was followed by 39.7°C recorded in Taitung City on May 7, 1988, and 39.5°C in Taitung City on June 7, 1942.
Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典), director of the bureau’s weather forecast center, said the high temperature in Taipei was caused by a wind from the south and the fact that the capital lies in a basin.
He said it is rare for Taiwan to experience extreme weather conditions because of the mutual influence of winds from inland and from the sea. Taipei was the nation’s only city that experienced such an extremely high temperature yesterday, he said.
The bureau said that the weather may cool tomorrow when a high-pressure system in the Pacific is expected to start moving north. A wet weather system from the south could move north close to Taiwan, which would increase the chances of afternoon thundershowers on the west coast, it said.
From Monday to Wednesday, winds from the southeast are expected to increase the chances of rain in the southeast, east and the north, the bureau said.
As the temperature rose in Taipei yesterday, the Taipei City Government’s Department of Labor launched inspections at construction sites and other outdoor workplaces to prevent workers from getting heat stroke.
The department instructed employers and construction site managers to allow workers to take a 30-minute break after working for four hours when the temperature rises to or above 36°C.
Employers should also provide rest areas with shade and cease work at noon among other measures to prevent heat stroke, the department said.
Department of Labor Chief Secretary Wu Meng-lin (吳夢麟) said the department conducts regular inspections during summer to assure the safety of workers outdoors.
Meanwhile, the Taipei City Government’s Department of Environmental Protection dispatched 12 street sweepers to spray water on streets to cool the temperature in the city, while also keeping the streets clean.
Department of Environmental Protection Division Chief Chiu Kuo-shu (邱國書) said the temperature of asphalt roads can rise as high as 54°C in summer and spraying water on the road can cool the temperature of the asphalt to about 49°C.
The street sweepers used recycled water from the Dihua Sewage Treatment Plant and the Neihu Sewage Treatment Plant. The department has used 3,155 tonnes of recycled water to cool the city’s roads or clean the streets so far this year, he said.
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of
GOOD NEWS: Although open civic spaces are shrinking in Asia-Pacific countries and territories, Taiwan’s openness is a positive sign, an expert said Taiwan remains the only country in Asia with an “open” civic space for the fifth consecutive year, the Civicus Monitor said in a report released yesterday. The People Power Under Attack 2023 report named Taiwan as one of only 37 open countries or territories out of 198 globally, and the only one in Asia. Compiled by Civicus — a global alliance of civil society organizations dedicated to bolstering civil action — the ranking compiled annually since 2017 measures the state of freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression around the world. Researchers assign each country or territory one of five rankings describing the
NOT JUST CHIPS: Although semiconductor processes are on the list, it also includes military technology and post-quantum cryptography to combat emerging cyberthreats The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) yesterday released a list of 22 technologies it considers crucial to the nation’s security and competitiveness, including the 14-nanometer semiconductor process and advanced chip packaging. For the first time, the council made a list of core technologies with an aim of preventing secret information about those technologies being leaked to foreign countries, which could put the nation’s security and the competitiveness of local industries at risk. For years, local semiconductor companies have faced challenges from talent poaching and theft of corporate secrets by Chinese competitors, who are seeking to rapidly advance their technology capabilities through