TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A continental cold air mass is poised to strike Taiwan on Thursday (Jan. 28), sending the mercury plunging to 9 degrees Celsius on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 29 and 30) and 0 degrees in mountainous areas, with snow possible on Taipingshan.
Meteorologist Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said Wednesday (Jan. 27) that a strong cold front will move south tomorrow and combine with precipitation to bring progressively colder temperatures over the course of the evening. Wu predicts that by Friday, the strong continental cold air mass will become dry and lows will dip to 9 degrees.
As for conditions today, Wu said that although northeast winds have brought some cold air to northern Taiwan, lows in flat areas have risen sharply to about 15 degrees, with New Taipei City's Shimen District and Taoyuan's Yangmei District to climb to 14.8 degrees. He said that the latest model by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts shows winds have brought more moisture today, leading to isolated daytime showers on the north coast, mountainous areas of greater Taipei, Yilan, and Hualien.
The weather will be mild islandwide today, with temperatures ranging between 15 and 20 degrees in the north, 13 and 26 degrees in the central region, 14 and 27 degrees in the south, and 14 and 24 degrees in the east.
Wu said the latest model shows the cold front moving south on Thursday, bringing isolated showers to Taoyuan and areas north as well as eastern Taiwan. Temperatures will start to fall during the course of the day, with lows in flat areas dropping to about 11 degrees.
The forecaster predicted that from Friday to Saturday morning, the strong continental cold air mass will cover the entire country, with the lowest temperature in flat areas plunging to about 9 degrees. Temperatures in urban areas of northern Taiwan are expected to drop down to 11 or 12 degrees.
From Saturday to next Monday (Feb. 1), the cold air will gradually weaken, and temperatures will steadily rise. During this period, skies will be sunny, but the temperature will still be low in the morning and evening, with large diurnal temperature fluctuations.
As for the possibility of snow in the mountains, Wu said the latest model predicts temperatures at elevations of over 1,500 meters will drop below 0 degrees on Thursday evening. However, he said moisture will be insufficient for snowfall in most areas.
Wu predicted that only Taipingshan in Yilan County is likely to see snow Thursday evening and Friday evening. He said snowfall could occur then if moisture has not completely dissipated by that time, but there is a narrow window of opportunity as conditions become steadily drier.
By next Tuesday (Feb. 2), another cold front is expected to move south toward the country. It is anticipated to bring isolated showers and colder temperatures.