Snow around Taiwan wows locals (update)
Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) Snow, which is rarely seen in Taiwan, an Asia-Pacific island crossed by the Tropic of Cancer, wowed people around the island Sunday with the appearance of the white stuff, from the capital Taipei in the north to Pingtung County in the south.
Under the influence of a strong cold air mass, many places around Taiwan -- even those located at an altitude of only 400 to 500 meters -- received a covering of snow or soft hail overnight, exciting the locals, who likely have never seen a silver world in real life since they were born.
Despite low temperatures, people were seen swarming to elevated areas, including Jiangziliaoshan (726 meters) in Keelung, Taipei's Yangmingshan, and Linkuo and Pinglin in New Taipei, to appreciate the natural beauty painted by snow.
The following are places from which there were reports of snowfall or soft hail Sunday:
[Keelung. Photo courtesy of Su Shih-lung]
@@ Jiangziliaoshan in Keelung. Su Shih-lung, a staffer at the Keelung Fire Department, said people could already spot snow after walking for less than one hour on a hiking trail on the mountain from a parking lot close to the Tai'an Waterfall.
@@ Yangmingshan. There was 5 centimeters of accumulated snow on the mountain in suburban Taipei, which recorded a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius Sunday, the lowest in 43 years.
@@ Chinese Culture University, also in Yangmingshan. Snow covered the school, which is at an altitude of just 400 meters above sea level.
@@ Maokong in Wenshan District, Taipei. The Houshanyueh mountain area -- at an altitude of around 500 meters -- in between Maokong and New Taipei's Shenkeng area, began experiencing snowfall Sunday morning. The scene could be seen from the Taipei Zoo.
@@ Pinglin. After snowfall was reported by the Hsinhsien tribe in New Taipei's Wulai, the Pinglin area started to see snow from midnight.
[New Taipei's Pinglin]
@@ Linkuo. Snow came after it hit mountainous areas of Wulai, Xindian, Pinglin and Sanxia.
@@ Taipingshan. The snowfall in the Taipingshan area in between New Taipei and Yilan has accumulated to about 20 centimeters. Snow was also seen in many places in Yilan, northeastern Taiwan.
@@ Lalashan in Taoyuan. As of Sunday morning, the accumulated snow had reached 20 cm in the Lalashan Forest Recreation Area.
@@ The Tzuhu-Jiaobanshan area along the Northern Cross-Island Highway. The locals there said they had not seen snow for 50 years.
@@ The Leofoo Village Theme Park in Hsinchu County. Visitors were excited about showers of snow Sunday morning.
@@ Shitan in Miaoli. The 600 meter-high mountain area in Miaoli County had reported snowfall in the early hours of Sunday. Some residents in Shitan Township said it was only the second snowfall in 40 years they have seen there.
[Along the Southern Cross-Island Highway]
@@ The Motienling mountain area along the Southern Cross-Island Highway. Showers of snow started at 4 a.m. Sunday.
@@ Big Xueshan. Snow began falling at the 49 km mark of the forest road on Big Xueshan in Taichung at 3 a.m. Sunday. Since then, snowfalls was reported from the 43km-35km-marks along the road.
@@ Wuling Farm in Taichung. The farm received its first snow since 2003 Sunday, according to the farm's management. Tourists were excited and played with snow despite the chilly weather.
@@ Jiananyun Peak in Yunlin County. Snow began falling at around 11 a.m. in the mountainous area at an altitude of around 1,500 meters.
@@ Alishan. The last time the popular tourist site received snow was two years ago.
@@ Penghu. Under the influence of a cold airmass, the island group off southwestern Taiwan began receiving soft hail Sunday morning, exciting the locals because the icy precipitation is rare in Penghu's history.
@@ North Dawushan in Pingtung County. Soft hail flew in the mountain area from halfway to the summit at midnight Saturday.
According to the Central Weather Bureau, 27 weather stations in different parts of Taiwan registered their lowest temperatures Sunday.
The temperature in Taipei, northern Taiwan fell to 4 degrees Celsius, the lowest level ever detected in the capital in 43 years and the second-lowest since 3.2 degrees was recorded in 1972.
It was -3.1 degrees in Anbu in the Yangmingshan area, 5.8 degrees in Su'ao in northeastern Yilan County, and 4.2 degrees in Taoyuan's Xinwu -- all new lows for these places. In New Taipei's Banqiao, it was 3.8 degrees on Sunday morning -- the second-lowest level in the city's history.
The temperature in Taipei was forecast to dip further to 3 degrees Celsius late Sunday and early Monday, and to 4 degrees in central Taiwan and 6 degrees in the south, the bureau forecast.
People wanting to appreciate the snow were advised to do so on Sunday because with the decrease of moisture in the air, the chances for further snowfall will be lower Monday, the bureau said.
(By Elizabeth Hsu) ENDITEM/J
[Arial view of snow in Yilan County, from CNA's Facebook page]
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