TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan could see its chilliest New Year's Eve in 15 years after a cold surge settles over the country on Wednesday (Dec. 30).
Taiwanese weather expert Peng Chi-ming (彭啟明) on his Facebook page WeatherRisk Explore Inc. on Thursday predicted that a cold-core high from Siberia will descend upon Taiwan Wednesday and could result in the "coldest New Year transition in 15 years." Central Weather Bureau weatherman Chen Chien-an (陳建安) predicts that this system could become a cold wave, the last of 2020 and first of 2021.
Chen predicted that when the cold surge arrives, it will have an intensity level that falls somewhere between a continental cold air mass and a strong continental cold air mass and that it could become a full-fledged cold wave. He forecast that during the middle of next week, lows in northern Taiwan will range between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius, while lows in the central and southern regions will range from 13 to 15 degrees.
Meteorologist Daniel Wu (吳德榮) forecast that the temperature will drop below 10 degrees Wednesday evening. On Thursday (Dec. 31), the record for the lowest temperature of this winter could be set in the early morning.
Wu predicted that lows in urban areas of northern Taiwan will range between 8 and 9 degrees, with the lowest temperature in flat areas likely to drop to 6 degrees. He also said there is a high probability the cold front will become the first cold wave of the winter.
Peng predicted that the coldest period will range from Thursday to Friday (Jan. 1), with lows dipping between 7 and 9 degrees in the north and below 10 degrees in central and southern parts of the country. He said that radiative cooling in open areas could result in lows of 5 to 7 degrees.
He forecasted wet, cold conditions on Wednesday, while the weather will be drier but even chillier on Thursday. Peng advised the public to beware of the alternating humidity and dryness and rapid drop in temperature and to dress appropriately.
The first year that Taipei 101 set off New Year's Eve fireworks was 2005, and the low that night was 7.6 degrees, the lowest temperature seen since in the history of the pyrotechnic display. Weather forecasters predict that the coming cold wave could result in a new record low for the annual event.