Cold front to send mercury down to 12 degrees Thursday

Taipei--The weather in Taiwan was forecast to warm up Sunday and Monday before turning volatile in the next few days, with a cold front expected to arrive Thursday, bringing temperatures down in coastal areas to as low as 12 degrees Celsius with sporadic rainfall, according to the Central Weather Bureau.

Due to the weakening of seasonal northeasterly winds, most parts of the island could see partly cloudy to sunny skies on Sunday, with only coastal areas of eastern Taiwan expected to experience occasional showers, the bureau said.

Highs on Sunday could rise to between 26 and 27 degrees in western Taiwan and 24 to 25 degrees in eastern Taiwan, the bureau said, adding that lows are expected to fall to between 15 and 16 degrees in the west and 18 degrees in Hualien an Taitung in the east.

The bureau has warned of big fluctuations in temperature between daytime and nighttime hours.

On Monday, moisture in the air will increase and fog will likely form, with central and southern Taiwan expected to see occasional rainfall. Highs that day could surge to between 26 and 28 degrees, according to meteorologist Daniel Wu (???).

However, with the anticipated arrival of weak seasonal winds on Tuesday, the weather in northern Taiwan will turn cool and wet. Temperatures will rebound to above 28 degrees on Wednesday and occasional rainfall is forecast for the area, according to Wu.

On Thursday, a weather front followed by a continental cold air mass will arrive and could send temperatures down throughout the country, Wu said.

From Friday to next Sunday, the weather will be cold and wet around Taiwan, with the mercury to drop to 14 degrees in Taipei, and 12 degrees in open and coastal areas of northern Taiwan on Thursday.

On Friday and early hours of next Saturday, lows could drop to 13 degrees in Taipei and 11 degrees in open and coastal areas north of central Taiwan, according to Wu.

Meanwhile, the Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/default.aspx) under the Environmental Protection Administration flashed red -- the fourth level on a six-scale index ranging from good to hazardous -- in its air quality index (AQI) for central Taiwan as well as Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan in southern Taiwan on Sunday.

The air quality in Kaohsiung and Pingtung in southern Taiwan and the offshore county of Kinmen on Sunday was unhealthy for people who are sensitive to air pollution. It flashed orange on the six-color scale, according to EPA network.

On the EPA color scale, green represents "good" air quality, with a pollutant reading of less than 50; yellow indicates "moderate" at 50-100; orange means "unhealthy for sensitive groups" with a reading of 101-150; red indicates "unhealthy," with a range of 151-200; purple signifies "very unhealthy" with a level of 201-300 and maroon represents "hazardous" with a reading of 301-500.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel