Mercury could drop to 10 degrees C in N. Taiwan, snow falling in mountains

CWB issues cold surge warning for N. Taiwan as temperatures set to drop to as low as 10 degrees Celsius

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Snow on Hehuanshan. (Zhong Heng Lu Kuang Facebook photo)

Snow on Hehuanshan. (Zhong Heng Lu Kuang Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has issued a cold surge advisory for parts of northern Taiwan, as the mercury could dip to as low as 10 degrees Celsius, and snow has begun falling in Taiwan's mountains.

Due to the effects of a continental air mass, the CWB predicts that temperatures will be at their coldest on Monday and Tuesday morning (Jan. 13 and 14), with lows dropping to between 11 and 13 degrees in northern and central Taiwan and possibly as low as 10 degrees in mountainous areas of Hsinchu and Miaoli. The CWB has issued a cold surge advisory for Miaoli and Hsinchu Counties.

According to the CWB, the current wave of cold air affecting Taiwan has been upgraded to the level of a continental cold air mass. Temperatures are expected to be at their coldest this week on Monday morning and Tuesday morning. Low temperatures in northern and northeastern Taiwan are expected to dip down to between 11 and 13 degrees.

Highs are expected to reach 17 to 18 degrees in northern Taiwan and Yilan, 23 to 24 degrees in southern and central Taiwan, and 22 to 24 degrees in eastern Taiwan. The CWB's cold surge advisory for Miaoli County and Hsinchu County predicts that lows could drop to 10 degrees on Monday and Tuesday.

The combination of the cold air mass and the eastern movement of a cloud system from southern China will likely bring rain to northern and eastern Taiwan, while southern Taiwan will see cloudy skies. Given the combination of moisture and cold temperatures, the CWB predicts that snowfall is possible on mountains with an elevation of over 3,000 meters, such as Yushan and Hehuanshan.

In fact, snow has already been reported at Xueshan's Sanliujiu Lodge and on Hehuanshan, the first snows seen on Taiwanese mountains in 2020. Ice has also formed on sections of road above Xueshan, and officials have warned motorists to exercise caution when driving in the area.

Starting on Wednesday (Jan. 15), conditions in Taiwan should be drier but still cool. The difference in day and nighttime temperatures in central and southern Taiwan is expected to increase over the course of the week.

From Wednesday to Thursday, the cold air mass will begin to weaken, and daytime temperatures will start to rise. However, due to radiative cooling, the lows in northern and central Taiwan may drop down to between 12 and 13 degrees.

By Friday, a northeast monsoon will approach that could be close in strength to the continental cold air mass. The system could bring more cold temperatures to northern Taiwan before weakening on Sunday (Jan. 19).