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Taiwan's weather bureau puts winter weather proverbs to the test

12/10/2023 07:33 PM
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Visitors take photos in a flied of sunflowers on a sunny day in Taipei on Nov. 9, 2023
Visitors take photos in a flied of sunflowers on a sunny day in Taipei on Nov. 9, 2023

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's Central Weather Administration (CWA) decided to test the accuracy of traditional proverbs relating to winter when applied to Taiwan and released its findings on its weather-content Facebook page Friday.

The CWA looked at seasonal proverbs pertaining to "Lidong," one of the 24 solar terms on the Chinese lunar calendar, which fell on Nov. 8 this year and is traditionally seen as the beginning of winter, in application to Taiwan.

Two of the proverbs suggest that the weather pattern of a given winter could be determined by the weather on the day of Lidong of the year (i.e. a sunny Lidong will lead to a sunny winter).

Another conversely claims that the average temperature of a year's winter will be the opposite of the temperature observed on the day of that year's Lidong day (i.e. a warm Lidong will result in a cold winter).

CWA said it used data collected between 2000 and 2022 from weather stations in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Hualien as well as 11 other stations in low-lying locations to see if the temperatures and weather patterns agreed with any of the traditional proverbs.

On temperatures, the CWA said weather stations clocked an average of 12 warm Lidong days in Taipei, 10 in Taichung, 11 in Tainan and 14 in Hualien County out of 23 years.

In those years with warm Lidong days, colder winter patterns were rare, the CWA said, seen after only 25 percent of the 12 warmer Lidong days in Taipei and after 40, 55 and 50 percent of the warmer days in Taichung, Tainan and Hualien, respectively, disproving the accuracy of the temperature proverb when applied to Taiwan.

On weather, CWA said Tainan experienced the most sunny Lidong days over the last 23 years, recording 21, while Taipei and Taichung recorded 20 days and Hualien had nine days.

The number was then compared with amount of sunshine in those areas in the winters following the sunny Lidong days.

Tainan recorded an average of 71 percent of sunny days in the 21 years, Taipei and Taichung recorded 60 percent in their 20 years and Hualien recorded an average of 56 percent in its nine years, confirming the proverb that a sunny Lidong day means a sunny winter in Taiwan, according to the CWA.

The agency said it found a no correlation, however, between wet Lidong days resulting in rainy winter weather throughout Taiwan, as suggested by one of the proverbs.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and James Lo)

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