TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Air quality is expected to deteriorate throughout the day in Taiwan today (Nov. 18) as air pollution drifts south from China.
As a northeast wind gradually strengthens, pollutants from China are expected to shift southward this afternoon, negatively impacting all of western Taiwan, reported WeatherRisk. Air quality is expected to worsen significantly by the afternoon, particularly in northern coastal areas.
An orange warning for air that is unhealthy for sensitive groups was issued at 32 stations in Taiwan today. According to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA), a dust storm in China has combined with a northeast monsoon to coat the Shandong Peninsula with PM10 pollution.
Jinan recorded a PM10 reading of 400 micrograms per cubic meter, while over the past 24 hours, Shanghai has seen its PM2.5 levels range between 70 and 130 micrograms per cubic meter. Due to the increased strength of a northeast monsoon and poor dispersal conditions, air pollutants began accumulating throughout western Taiwan triggering orange alerts at 32 stations.
Pollution in Taoyuan on Monday (Environmental Protection Administration photo)
The pollution from China is expected to be followed by cold air, with low temperatures in central and northern Taiwan to drop down to between 17 and 18 degrees Celsius and 20 degrees in southern Taiwan. This blast of cold air is predicted to last in Taiwan until Thursday (Nov. 21).
In terms of precipitation, showers are likely in northern Taiwan and Yilan until Wednesday (Nov. 20), while southern and central Taiwan will see partly cloudy to sunny skies during this period. On Wednesday night, the winds will gradually shift east and combine with moisture from a low-pressure system to the south to bring rain to eastern Taiwan, including Hualien, Taitung, and Yilan through Friday.
The Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government launched contingency measures in advance of the arrival of the air pollution. It notified the top 30 fixed sources of pollution and requested that they reduce their emissions and dispatched personnel to ensure emission reduction programs have been implemented.
The EPA predicts the air quality in Taiwan will gradually improve by Tuesday evening (Nov. 19), but advises residents to wear masks designed to filter out PM10 and PM2.5 particles in the meantime.