(CNA file photo)
Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) With the arrival in Taiwan of a cold air mass from China forecast for Friday, the mercury in coastal areas in the north of the island is expected to plunge to as low as 12 degrees Celsius on Saturday and Sunday, former Central Weather Bureau (CWB) Director-general Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said Thursday.
The cooler weather, with increasing chances of rain, is expected to prevail over most areas of the island over the two days, with inland areas of northern Taiwan to see temperatures drop to 13-16 degrees, reaching the standard for a cold air mass, according to Wu.
The cold front could bring occasional showers to northern and eastern Taiwan, mountainous areas of central and southern Taiwan, and the offshore islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, while western areas will see overcast skies, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said.
Ahead of the cold front, a weather system is forecast to pass through Taiwan during the second half of Thursday, bringing occasional rain to northern and eastern Taiwan, according to the CWB.
It warned that foggy conditions on Thursday can be expected in western Taiwan and on the islands of Kinmen and Matsu, causing low visibility.
Meanwhile, poor quality air was predicted in southern Taiwan throughout the day due to high concentrations of fine particle pollution (PM2.5), according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).
Its Air Quality Index was at the red alert level, suggesting that the air quality is unhealthy for everyone, the EPA said.
On Friday, daytime highs could reach 22-23 degrees in the north and Yilan, Hualien in the east, while central and southern Taiwan and Taitung in the east could reach 25-27 degrees, the CWB said.
However, lows on that day could dip to 16-19 degrees in all areas around Taiwan, it said in a more conservative forecast than Wu's.
According to Wu's forecast, the weather will become milder on Jan. 16 and 17, when the mercury will climb to 14-17 degrees but conditions will remain wet.
(By Tseng Pei-shan and Evelyn Kao)