Consecutive days of rain in this year’s “plum rain” season may start in the second half of this month, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday.
The season, which generally lasts from May to June, was given its name because the rain comes at about the time when the plums south of China’s Yangtze River ripen. Accumulated rainfall during the plum rain season usually accounts for between a quarter and a third of Taiwan’s total annual rainfall.
Cheng Ming-dean (鄭明典), director of the bureau’s weather forecast center, said the bureau had forecast a 50 percent chance that the total accumulated rainfall during the two-month period would fall within the normal range. However, he said there was a 30 percent chance that the rainfall would be below average, and a 20 percent chance of above-average rainfall.
Meanwhile, the bureau forecast that temperatures during the plum rain season would likely be within the normal range or slightly higher than average.
Asked if the nation could experience a plum rain season with accumulated rainfall of less than 500mm, Cheng said it was not likely.
“The chances for that to happen are very low,” he said. “It is still a rainy season and we will still have a lot of rain.”
Cheng said that years that were below average still had about 300mm of accumulated rainfall.
Cheng said the nation would start seeing consecutive rainy days — a common feature in the plum rain season — from the second half of next month, which is slightly later than usual. Heavy to strong precipitation is likely from the second half of this month to mid-June, he added. Cheng said the bureau considers four consecutive days of rain a typical feature of the season, with daily accumulated rainfall exceeding 9mm.
Cheng also said that a tropical convection system near the south of the nation has been active for the past few months, adding that those in the south need to beware of potential damage from heavy to torrential rain.
While the nation has yet to see rainy weather in the plum rain season, it experienced extreme weather yesterday. Records from the bureau showed that several cities around the nation had daytime highs exceeding 30oC at about noon.
The highest temperature, 34.8oC, was recorded in Dawu (大武) in Taitung County, accompanied by a foehn wind, a “rain shadow” wind that can dramatically raise temperatures. It was followed by Chiayi and Taipei, which saw temperatures of 32oC and 31.9oC respectively. Temperatures in Banciao, Greater Tainan, Greater Taichung, Henchun (恆春) and Greater Kaohsiung also rose above 30oC.
The high temperatures dropped when the rain front approached the nation last night, which was also the first frontal system in the plum rain season.
Chances of showers are high in the nation’s west and northeast coast during the daytime today. Highs of 22oC in the north and northeast, 25oC in central areas, 26oC in the east and 28oC in the south are expected.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
SUFFICIENT SUPPLY: Taiwan has an abundance of pandemic-related goods in storage, and protocols have been implemented to ensure that the supply chain is not broken Hordes of customers descended on hypermarkets and supermarkets in Taipei and New Taipei City after the government yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert level for the two municipalities to level 3 until May 28. Earlier in the day, the Central Epidemic Command Center reported 180 new domestically transmitted cases, most of them in Taipei and New Taipei City. Despite the government urging the public to stop hoarding daily necessities, shelves were stripped bare while cashiers were working as fast as they could. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a news conference on Friday detailed the government’s inventory of masks, medical-grade isopropyl alcohol and protective clothing,
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the