Taiwan sees second driest winter on record: weather bureau

Taipei--The weather in Taiwan has been mostly dry since late last year, making this winter the second driest on record, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said Friday, warning that the dry spell could last into spring.

Since the beginning of winter, there has been less rainfall around Taiwan, especially in the west of the country, the bureau said, making this the driest winter since 1963.

Weather stations in Tainan and Kaohsiung, the two largest cities in southern Taiwan, recorded no precipitation in January, the CWB said.

Since the beginning of February, the weather in Kaohsiung has remained dry, with no rain recorded by the city's weather station, the bureau said. The northern city of Keelung also saw dry weather during the same period, it added.

The weather station in eastern Taiwan's Yilan County was the only one to record "plenty of rain" in December, the bureau said.

According to a bureau forecast, the dry weather pattern could last into spring.

From March to May, the likelihood Taiwan will see relatively low rainfall is estimated at 40 percent, the CWB said. The chances of normal precipitation are estimated at 50 percent and the possibility of greater rainfall just 10 percent, it added.

However, with the arrival of a moist cold air mass, the weather will turn wet and cold over the coming days, with rain forecast for northern and eastern Taiwan.

In cooperation with the Water Resources Agency, the military dispatched C-130 planes to conduct cloud seeding from the air, in the hope of increasing rainfall by at least 10 percent at Shimen, Mingde and Baoshan reservoirs, all of which are in northern Taiwan.

Water levels at the reservoirs are falling to dangerous levels due to the recent dry weather.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel