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Mercury could drop to 5 degrees in northern Taiwan on New Year's Eve

Snow possible in Taiwan's mountains on New Year's Eve, clear skies forecast for first sunrise of 2021 in western Taiwan

(CWB satellite image)

(CWB satellite image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A cold wave expected to arrive Wednesday (Dec. 30) is likely to cause the temperature to drop to as low as 5 degrees Celsius in northern Taiwan by New year's Eve.

Meteorologist Daniel Wu (吳德榮) on Monday (Dec. 28) predicted that starting Wednesday, a cold wave will blow in from the north and bring temperatures down to 10 degrees and below across the country. He added that the frigid temperatures could also translate into snowfall, frost, and rime ice in mountainous areas of Taiwan ranging between 800 and 2,000 meters in elevation.

Wu stated that the latest model from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts shows a cold wave on Wednesday causing "freezing" temperatures by the evening. Open areas of Taiwan could see the mercury drop to 7 degrees, while temperatures in urban areas will likely dip down to 9 or 10 degrees, Wu predicted, representing a drop of 15 degrees within 24 hours.

He predicted that by New Year's Eve, the cold wave will bring the chilliest temperatures seen in northern Taiwan so far this winter, with flat areas potentially dropping to 5 degrees. Wu forecast 10 degrees or lower for almost all of Taiwan, with the exception of the Hengchun Peninsula, with lows of 7 to 8 degrees in the Taipei metropolitan area.

From Jan. 1-3, Wu predicts that as the cold wave begins to weaken, temperatures will gradually begin to rise during the day. However, he warned that due to radiative cooling, evening temperatures will remain low at night and in the early morning.

Wu pointed out that the latest ECMWF model shows the coming cold wave will bring dry air. Therefore, the rains that have been seen much of this month will begin to diminish.

During the day on New Year's Eve, only brief, local rainfall will be seen in the north and northeast, while the east could see scattered showers, according to Wu. By that evening, rain across Taiwan should subside.

As for catching the last sunset of 2020 and the first sunrise of 2021, Wu said that from New Year's Eve to Jan. 3, western Taiwan should see sunny, stable weather. Meanwhile, the eastern part of the country will likely see cloudy skies with occasional rain.

He predicts western Taiwan will see ideal conditions for watching the last sunset and first sunrise. As for the east, skies will be partly cloudy on New Year's Eve, while New Year's Day will see low-lying clouds accompanied by scattered light rain.