Plum blossoms in Nantou about to peak bloom in cold, wet weather

Taipei-Plum trees in Nantou are expected to come into full bloom around mid-January as the weather turns cooler, a township chief in the landlocked county said Sunday.

About half of the plum trees in Ren'ai and Xinyi townships, the county's two most popular areas for viewing plum blossoms, are flowering, local observers said.

"If a cold spell or cold air mass prevails, the blooming will peak by the middle of the month," said Ren'ai Township Chief Chiang Tzu-hsin (???).

This year is expected to be one of the best for viewing plum blossoms in Taiwan, he said.

Meanwhile, in Xinyi Township, the plum trees are also about 50 percent in bloom, thanks to constant rainfall and cool temperatures, said Chang Sheng-cheng (???), head of Dream Works of the Mei (plum), which is run by the Xinyi Township Farmers' Association.

Fenggueidou, Wusonglun, Niouchoukeng, Weipingding and Tuchang are the main areas in Xinyi Township for plum blossom appreciation, he said.

Both Chang and Chiang suggested that weekdays would be the best time to visit Nantou on plum-blossom appreciation tours as traffic is usually heavy on weekends during the plum blossom season.

According to the Central Weather Bureau, a cold, dry air mass is expected to arrive in Taiwan Monday afternoon, sending temperatures down islandwide for most of the week.

If the cold front is upgraded to a strong cold air mass or a cold surge, temperatures in open coastal areas can be expected to drop as low as 7 degrees Celsius between Tuesday and Friday, the weather bureau said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel