Rare weather event: Taiwan's highest mountain gets snow in May

05/02/2022 04:55 PM
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Photo courtesy of Central Weather Bureau
Photo courtesy of Central Weather Bureau

Taipei, May 2 (CNA) A rare May snowfall hit Taiwan's highest mountain Monday afternoon, caused by strong and very moist easterly winds sweeping through the island, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

It was only the fifth time since 1990 that snow had fallen in May on Yushan, also known as Mt. Jade, following snowfalls there in 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2011. The latest snow has ever been recorded on Yushan in May was on May 31, 1955, the CWB said.

The snow began to fall on the mountain at 1:30 p.m. and lasted until 2:10 p.m. Monday when it turned into rain, the CWB said, but it forecast more snow to come later in the day.

As of 2 p.m., a total of 0.5 centimeters of snow had accumulated on Yushan's 3,858-meter North Peak, where the CWB weather station is located.

The snow accumulated despite temperatures there being above zero, with a temperature of 1.3 degrees Celsius recorded at 2:05 p.m.

The CWB said the moisture in the atmosphere was very "thick," and that when heavy frozen moisture in the air fell, there was not enough time for it to melt into water before reaching the ground.

Yushan's highest point, and the highest in Taiwan, is its Main Peak, which reaches 3,952 meters above sea level. The North Peak is its third highest peak and is where meterological data for the mountain is collected.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Elizabeth Hsu)

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