Cold Wave Sweeping Through East Asia

Cold Wave Sweeping Through East Asia
Photo Credit: mdxdt @Flickr CC BY 2.0

What you need to know

As the worst cold wave in ten years sweeps through Taiwan, residents on the island may have to endure what feels like below zero temperatures from January 23 to 25. China, Japan and Korea are also experiencing extreme cold with blizzards buffeting multiple regions and record-low temperatures reported in many cities.

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Compiled by Bing-sheng Lee

Currently under a bitterly cold air mass, Taiwan expects to encounter an even stronger one in the upcoming weekend, which is allegedly going to send temperatures down to below 10°C around the island.

Many countries in East Asia, including China, Japan and Korea, have also been experiencing extreme cold recently with blizzards buffeting multiple regions and record-low temperatures reported in many cities.

Many residents in Taiwan may have to endure what feels like below zero temperatures from January 23 to 25 as the worst cold wave in 10 years sweeps the country, the Central Weather Bureau said on January 19. The temperature is expected to drop to 8°C on January 23, but the lowest temperatures are expected to be seen on January 24 and 25 with some meteorologists predicting a plunge to only 4°C. According to the bureau, the apparent temperatures, an indicator which factors in relative humidity and wind effect and can reflect the temperature the human body feels, could plummet below zero.

The coming weekend’s cold front could be the worst for Taiwan since 2005, when temperatures of 5.6°C in Taipei and 4.4°C in Chiayi were recorded on March 6, 2005.

In China, due to an impending severe cold front, China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC) issued a warning on January 20 for snowstorms in the southern part of the country, predicting that temperatures could dip by 14°C with cities, such as Shanghai and Changsha, seeing temperatures strike thirty-year lows. Beijing is forecast to see temperatures as low as minus 17°C, the lowest in almost three decades. Schools have been suspended and emergency workers are on standby as Chinese provinces brace for a week of unusually cold weather.

Turing to Korea, a severe cold wave hit the country on the morning of January 20 with the country’s weather service issuing a cold wave advisory for the third consecutive day. This winter has been tough for the Koreans. A total of 165 people have suffered from exacerbations of illnesses caused by low temperatures since December, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Heavy snowfall in Japan caused by a fully developed low-pressure system stalling over waters east of Hokkaido has led to traffic disruptions to its railroad system. Central Japan Railway Co. says that snow has forced Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains to run slower than usual on a section between Hamamatsu and Shin-Osaka, causing delays of up to 74 minutes and affecting 110,000 travelers.

The Japan Meteorological Agency calls for its people to remain alert for blizzards, heavy snow, strong winds and high waves until January 20.

Edited by Olivia Yang

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