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Taiwan’s highest mountain sees rare May snowfall

The latest snowfall at Yushan occurred May 31, 1955: weather forecaster

(Central Weather Bureau photo)

(Central Weather Bureau photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Snow fell on Yushan, the highest mountain in Taiwan, on Monday afternoon (May 2), the fifth such occurrence ever recorded since 1990, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.

The CWB said that Yushan received snowfall from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., totaling 0.5 centimeters. As of 2:05 p.m., the lowest temperature recorded on Yushan Northern Peak‎, where the Yushan Weather Station is located, was 1.3 degrees Celsius, CNA reported.

According to Yushan National Park’s official website, the average annual temperature of areas in the park with elevations over 3,500 meters above sea level is 5.9 degrees, and the snow season is from December to April every year.

According to Yushan snowfall statistics, May snowfall has happened on four other occasions: in 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2011, bureau forecaster Liu Yu-chi (劉宇其) said, per CNA.

The latest snowfall that Yushan has ever recorded occurred on May 31, 1955, the forecaster added.

Liu said that the chilly weather Taiwan is experiencing was caused by the interaction of a southern cloud system and northeasterly winds. He said that the lowest temperature on Monday morning recorded by the Taipei Weather Station was 15.1 degrees.

The exact same temperature was recorded by the station in May 2014. In May 2013, a temperature of 14.9 degrees was recorded by the station, the forecaster said, adding that the lowest May temperature ever recorded by the station was 10 degrees in 1917.

The northeasterly winds will begin to weaken from Tuesday (May 3), bringing temperatures up to around 20 degrees across Taiwan, he added.