TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Typhoon Surigae came closest on Thursday (April 22), the storm's periphery brought badly needed rain to drought-stricken central Taiwan.
The country continues to suffer from water shortages as it deals with its worst drought in 56 years. On Thursday, Typhoon Surigae reached its closest point, bringing moisture from its periphery to Taiwan proper.
This moisture, combined with strong convection from the afternoon heat, led to rain in mountainous areas of parched central Taiwan, including Taichung City and Nantou County. Among these areas was Nantou's Qingjing, where heavy rains were reported at 2 p.m.
Hail was also reported to have fallen. Startled tourists posted videos of the rain online, drawing the praise of netizens who know how desperate Taiwan is for water.
On Thursday (April 22) at 2:26 p.m., a member of the Facebook group Baoyuan 2 Commune (爆怨2公社) posted a video of heavy rain pouring down on an outdoor food market in Qingjing. The caption above the video reads: "Such a big downpour! My whole body is wet! It's rare to go out and run into hail."
Indeed, white hailstones can be seen impacting the ground as the wind blows away the tarps covering food stands. As a powerful gust strikes the area, the photographer squeals and ducks for cover.
People from parts of southern Taiwan such as Tainan and Kaohsiung, which failed to see rain that day, expressed envy of the precipitation. One wrote, "You can't complain. Pray for more rain and that it reaches the reservoir."
Another called for help from a higher power: "Rain God, hurry up and come to central and southern Taiwan. We need you. Please give us heavy rain!"
The rain in Qingjing began to dissipate after about half an hour, and the accumulation likely generated only a small amount of water for the reservoirs downstream, according to UDN. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) reported that the 100 weather stations that saw the most rainfall that day were mainly concentrated in Yilan, Hualien, Taitung, and New Taipei City, while only three stations on the list were in central or southern Taiwan.