Sandstorm to Hit Taiwan on Apr. 17; Air Pollution Warning Issued 沙塵暴明午襲台 西半部空品恐亮紅燈

Although Typhoon Surigae will not pose a direct threat to Taiwan, Central Weather Bureau says people living in the western part of Taiwan should brace for another wave of sandstorm coming from China, which would affect the air quality over the weekend. 

Typhoon Surigae, which recently formed in the Western Pacific has intensified into a moderate tropical storm this morning on the 16th. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) predicted that it may further intensify into a severe tropical storm, but it is not forecast to directly affect Taiwan due to it being far away from the island. Weather for the next six days is expected to be on the dry side in Taiwan. CWB said that although rainy season usually arrives around this time, there still seems to be no sign of rain so far. Conserving water should continue to be a daily way of life for people in Taiwan.

According to weather statistics from the last couple years, heavy rain usually occurs after mid-May, but so far we haven't been able to foresee any weather conditions in favor of rain.
CWB Director-General Cheng Ming-dean posted a satellite image on his Facebook page showing how another wave of sandstorm has hit North China and explained how it is rare that China experienced more sandstorms this year compared to the past. The satellite image clearly reveals a large blanket of dust moving from the north to the south. CWB predicted that the sandstorm would affect Taiwan some when the northeastern monsoon strengthens on the 17th.
When the northeastern monsoon strengthens later half of the day on the 17th, small dust particulates of PM2.5 and even larger dust particles will be brought into Taiwan. The situation is expected to alleviate the next day on the 18th, starting in north to central regions.
CWB stressed that since it is still uncertain how long the sandstorms from China would affect Taiwan depending on the ever-changing wind path, people should still be alert if outdoor activities have been arranged for this weekend. There is a chance that red alert would be issued for air pollution starting later half of April 17 to April 18.
氣象局預報員 謝佩芸表示:「從過去幾年氣候的統計上來說,比較容易開始有劇烈降雨的梅雨鋒面,出現的時間,通常都是在五月中旬之後。那以今年的梅雨指標來看的話,的確在五月上旬之前,都還沒有顯著有利於梅雨發生的條件。」
環保署監資處長 張順欽表示:「十七號下半天,東北風增強的時候,會開始有PM2.5進來。晚一點的話,沙塵粗的顆粒,也會跟著到台灣來。持續的時間,估計是在到十八號,上半天中部以北,大概影響可以減緩。」