Sleet falls on Taiwan's Hehuanshan, snow possible Dec. 8

Snow fans flock to Hehuanshan to catch an early preview of this weekend's anticipated snowfall

Photo posted by Facebook user Leslie Chan‎.

Photo posted by Facebook user Leslie Chan‎.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- With a new cold front arriving to Taiwan, sleet was spotted falling on Huhuanshan early this morning (Dec. 5), a good omen for the potential first snowfall of the winter, which could occur on Friday (Dec. 8) according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

A combination of a new cold air mass and moisture in the air resulting in what appeared to be sleet falling on Hehuanshan at 3 a.m. this morning, for approximately 30 minutes, resulting in a thin, white layer of ice, reported CNA. 

After news broke yesterday of potential snowfall being brought in by cold fronts arriving this week, many people have already started to gather on Hehuanshan and Yushan to catch a glimpse of the winter's first snowflakes and shared photos and video of this morning's sleet, which was already seeming to be close to actual snow. One person even wrote "it snowed" in the white accumulation of sleet and was even able to make a small snowman.

Although a cold front is currently impacting Taiwan and temperatures continue to drop, the moisture on Hehuashan will not be sufficient today to produce snow, and actual snowfall is still most likely on Dec. 8 when a second cold air mass arrives, according to the CWB. 

CWB forecasters said that because the weather station on Hehuanshan is unmanned, it is not actually possible to make a firm judgment on whether today's precipitation was in fact snow or sleet. However, they said that as rainfall was observed this morning, it is more likely that it was sleet. 

As not enough moisture reached Nantoushan and Yushan, no snow as recorded as of 7 a.m.

The Ministry of Transportation Highway Administration said that ice has formed on the stretch of road between the 31 km mark and 33 km mark of the Provincial Highway 14 on Hehuanshan and is limited to cars with snow chains. Police are directing traffic and drivers in the area are urged to exercise caution. 

Sleet seen on Hehuanshan this morning. (CNA image)

Icy road on Hehuanshan. (CNA image)

Police officer advising driver on Hehuanshan. (CNA image)