With the arrival of a continental cold air mass, people in Taiwan are expected to experience a sharp fall in temperatures, with lows expected to drop to 13 degrees Celsius from Saturday night (March 14) through early Sunday morning (March 15), according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).
As the continental cold front moves south, areas north of central Taiwan are expected to be most affected, with temperatures there likely to dip to 13-14 degrees over the weekend, the CWB said.
In the south, the strength of the cold front is expected to be weaker, with the lowest temperature forecast to hit about 17 degrees from Saturday night to early Sunday morning, the CWB added.
Daytime highs around Taiwan on Saturday are also expected to fall due to the cold air mass, the CWB said, adding that in northern Taiwan, they are forecast to be 17 degrees, down from 23 a day earlier.
In central and southern Taiwan, they will likely fall to 22-23 degrees, down from 29-30 degrees a day earlier.
Due to a steep fall in the mercury at night, the CWB urged the public to remain cautious about a wide daytime-nighttime temperature gap around Taiwan and to keep warm.
The CWB said the cold front is expected to bring rain to all parts of Taiwan Saturday morning, but the weather will turn dry and cool in the afternoon in western Taiwan, with brief rainfall likely only in Hualien and Taitung in the east.
The presence of the on-going wind system is expected to allow people in the areas north of Tainan, eastern Taiwan (including Green Island and Orchid Island) and the Hengchun Peninsula, as well as offshore Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu islands to experience strong wind, the CWB said.
It added that sudden big waves are possible off the coast of Keelung and the northeastern coastal areas, suggesting fishing boats and people doing outdoors activities should take precautionary measures.
The bureau said the effect of the continental cold front on Taiwan are expected to continue into early Monday morning, but its strength will likely fade later in the day, which will boost daytime temperatures.
Meanwhile, the winds brought by the cold spell are expected to help Taiwan disperse air pollutants and improve air quality on Saturday, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said.
Air quality in Hualien and Taitung in eastern Taiwan was rated "good" on Saturday, while in northern and central Taiwan, Yilan in the east, Yunlin, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung in the south, as well as outlying Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu island, it was "fair", the EPA said.