Temperatures plunge to new lows as strong cold spell arrives

Taipei--Temperatures in Taiwan plummeted to new lows of this winter on Thursday with the arrival of a strong cold snap, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) warning of sustained low temperatures in the coming days for most parts of the country.

The mercury dipped to 9.5 degrees Celsius in Tamsui in New Taipei, the lowest temperature recorded in a low-lying area in Taiwan this winter, according to data from the Central Weather Bureau.

Temperatures could drop further to 8 degrees in the northwestern coastal town on Thursday night, the bureau predicted.

Six other weather stations -- located in Hsinchu, Taoyuan's Xinwu District, Keelung, New Taipei's Banqiao District, Taipei and Taichung's Wuqi District -- also recorded new lows this season of 10.4 degrees, 10.6 degrees, 10.8 degrees, 11 degrees, 11.5 degrees and 11.5 degrees, respectively, according to the bureau.

As the cold spell moves south, lows around the country could drop to 8 degrees to 9 degrees, the CWB said, predicting that weather stations in central and southern Taiwan will also record new lows later Thursday.

On Thursday morning, "apparent temperatures" -- the temperature as perceived by the human body -- were only between 7 degrees and 14 degrees in the greater Taipei area, and between 5 degrees and 12 degrees in Keelung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli, the CWB said.

The bureau issued a cold weather warning that morning for all counties and cities around Taiwan except for Kaohsiung, Pingtung County, Taitung County and offshore Penghu County.

It said the weather will remain chilly until Saturday and cautioned the public to keep warm.

On Feb. 12 and 13, temperatures will remain cold at night and early morning, with areas north of Tainan, as well as Yilan, Hualien, Kinmen and Matsu likely to experience temperatures below 10 degrees. Other areas could also see lows of 10-12 degrees, the bureau said.

The cold spell will begin to weaken on Feb. 13 and 14, when daytime temperatures are expected to return to a relatively warmer level, the bureau said.

But nighttime and early morning temperatures will remain low on those days, with western Taiwan seeing big differences in daytime and nighttime temperatures, it said.

Meanwhile, county governments warned farmers on Thursday to take measures to keep their crops, fish and animals warm.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel