With the arrival of a cold front and strengthening northeasterly seasonal winds, temperatures around Taiwan dropped markedly Thursday, with an increased chance of rain in the forecast, according to the Central Weather Bureau.
The mercury will fall most significantly in northern and northeastern Taiwan, where the daytime high is expected to dip by about 8 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees after an unusually warm day Wednesday, while central and southern Taiwan will see the mercury drop by 2-5 degrees, the bureau forecast.
Meanwhile, intermittent rain was forecast for all parts of Taiwan Thursday morning, with a 60-80 percent of rain in northern Taiwan and 20-40 percent for other areas of the country. The rain will ease off in the afternoon, according to the bureau.
The bureau also forecast even cooler temperatures for Friday, with lows of 14-15 degrees for northern Taiwan and 17-18 degrees for southern Taiwan, as well as Hualien and Taitung in the southeast.
The mercury is likely to rebound from Dec. 25 as the seasonal winds weaken, it said.
The bureau also forecast choppy water in coastal areas of Keelung, northern Taiwan; Orchid Island and Green Island off eastern Taiwan, and around the Hengchun peninsula in Pingtung. The bureau advised people there to avoid coastal activities.
Meanwhile, the air quality in western Taiwan fell to hazardous levels due to a lack of wind to disperse atmospheric pollutants, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).
As of 8 a.m., the level of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) recorded at 15 monitoring stations in western parts of Taiwan, including Xianxi, Douliu, Mailiao and Taixi in Yunlin County, reached hazardous levels, the agency reported.
The EPA advised people to wear a mask when going out in those areas and suggested that the elderly, children, and people suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular ailments should avoid prolonged or strenuous physical activity outdoors.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel