Hottest day of the year so far in Taiwan

36 degrees in Taipei and 37.9 degrees in Taitung County

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Thursday May 17 was a record day for hot weather and electricity consumption in 2018.

Thursday May 17 was a record day for hot weather and electricity consumption in 2018. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taipei City saw the mercury climbing to 36 degrees Celsius Thursday, its highest level for the year so far, though it was even hotter in Taitung, with electricity consumption the highest ever for a day during the month of May.

Previous days already had seen records for this year at more than 35 degrees in the capital, but at 11:42 a.m., the temperature broke through the 36-degree barrier, the Central Weather Bureau said.

Dawu Township in Taitung County saw even higher temperatures, with 37.9 degrees recorded at 12:37 p.m., the Central News Agency reported.

The high was the result of the foehn effect which often hits the region on Taiwan’s southeast coast, sometimes even when a typhoon lashes the rest of the island. A foehn is a dry, warm down-slope wind which hits the downwind side of a mountain range.

Dawu’s temperature Thursday was the highest recorded anywhere in Taiwan so far this year, according to the weather bureau.

The hot weather also had its consequences for electricity consumption, which reached a May record of 34.6 gigawatt at 1:50 p.m. Thursday, according to state utility Taiwan Power Corporation. The figure was also the fourth consecutive daily record for 2018, the company said.

Taipower had initially estimated the day’s consumption would reach a maximum of 34.5 GW, but the unexpectedly higher temperatures also chased up the use of electricity, CNA reported.

In a response to higher energy needs, the No.1 reactor at Taiwan’s third nuclear plant in Pingtung County was restarted during the afternoon of May 16 following a period of repairs, according to CNA. The move would allow for a stable energy supply during the coming period, Taipower said.