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Snow possible in north Taiwan mountains on Lunar New Year's Day

Continental cold air mass expected to be strongest Feb. 8-10

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File photo of snow on Taipingshan. (Yilan branch of the Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency photo)

File photo of snow on Taipingshan. (Yilan branch of the Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A continental cold air mass to impact Taiwan this week could bring snow to the mountains in the north at the start of the Lunar New Year.

The Central Weather Administration (CWA) estimated the coldest period will occur from New Year's Eve (Feb. 9) to the third day of the Lunar New Year (Feb. 12). This wave of cold air is expected to reach the level of a continental air mass or even a strong continental air mass, reported TTV News.

Coupled with the eastward movement of a cloud system in southern China, the period from Wednesday evening (Feb. 7) to Lunar New Year's Eve is expected to have the most moisture and rainfall. WeatherRisk Director Chia Hsin-hsing (賈新興) predicted that from New Year's Eve night to the early morning on Lunar New Year's Day (Feb. 10), mountains with elevations over 3,000 meters could see temperatures below 0 C and are likely to experience snowfall.

CWA forecaster Lo Ya-yin (羅雅尹) said the cold air mass is expected to affect the evenings of Little New Year's Eve (Feb. 8) and Lunar New Year's Eve and the morning of Lunar New Year's Day.

Lo said from the third day of the Lunar New Year to the sixth day (Feb. 12-15), the influence of the continental cold air mass will weaken, and temperatures across the region will gradually rise. However, due to the effects of radiative cooling in the mornings, there will be significant temperature differences between day and night.

Only the eastern half of the country may experience scattered brief showers, while other areas are forecasted to have mostly cloudy to sunny weather.