Summer weather in Taipei

Weather in Taiwan is quite unpredictableSummer in Taiwan is extremely hot and humid. Expect temperatures over 30º C (over 85º F) from June to September. The weather is similar to Florida or Louisiana in the US, but with more concentrated rainfall. There's nothing really comparable in Europe.

There are summer typhoons (hurricanes), which arrive at unpredictable intervals. You have about a 50% chance of experiencing some of the effects of a typhoon during a two week visit. If you follow local weather forecasts, you'll get at least a couple of days warning that a typhoon is approaching, though the exact path can't be predicted with absolute certainity.

For visitors, the most significant effect of a typhoon that passes close to Taiwan is continuous heavy rainfall. In the worst case, 'continuous' could mean 48 hours without a break.

It's best to wear light, thin clothing and light shoes that can be changed and dried when they inevitably get wet. Avoid going outside when the rain is at its strongest – it's better to wait 20 minutes for the rainfall to ease a little. When the rain is very heavy, staying dry outside is impossible. Heavy rain will splash off the ground or be blown horizontally by strong winds, so your feet and legs still get soaked, despite a raincoat and umbrella. If you come from Europe or the Northern US, you've probably never experienced rain this heavy before.

Don't bring a raincoat unless you will spend a lot of time outside – for example, hiking in the mountains. If you do bring one, it should be very light and thin. Anything with more than a single layer of unpadded material is unusably hot, a hassle to carry, and wastes valuable shopping space in your luggage. Even with a light raincoat you're likely to get wetter from sweating inside it than you are from the rain (with the heat and humidity, it's like a sauna suit).

If cold air conditioning in shops and malls bothers you, bring an extra layer of thin and light clothing that you can carry to put on indoors.

Bear in mind that it's easy to buy very cheap clothing (e.g. plastic rain coats, flip-flops and umbrellas, from about $3). With the unpredictability of the weather, this might be more convenient than bringing everything with you. You can buy better quality products if you prefer – prices are also quite reasonable.

Typhoons aren't all bad: they are often preceded or followed by a couple of days of slightly cooler, less humid weather, with no rainfall (maybe because the typhoon is drawing all the rain away to drop somewhere else).

The typhoons and tropical storms that form in the Pacific and move towards North East Asia are also likely to affect the Philippines, East China and Japan. They may sometimes also affect Hong Kong, Macao, South China, Vietnam and Korea and areas adjacent to those regions. Airports may even be closed when a typhoon is very close, although usually only for a few hours.

What clothes to bring

Hot weather clothing – light and thin, but remember you're in a city, not at the beach
Small foldable umbrella - if you have a very good one, otherwise buy one here when required
Raincoat - optional; only if very thin and light (see above)
Shoes with good grip - ground can be slippery when rainy
Spare pair of light shoes - to give rain-soaked shoes time to dry
and/or Sandals or similar - if you have a good pair, otherwise buy a pair here if required
Spare socks - because of rain

More information

Local weather forecasts (click on 'Typhoon' to see if there are any typhoons in North East Asia now and a prediction of their most likely path during the next 2 or 3 days)

Average rainfall and temperature: http://www.bbc.com/weather/1668341

Average number of typhoons per month in region (most don't come close enough to have a serious impact on Taiwan's weather): http://www.cwb.gov.tw/V7e/knowledge/encyclopedia/ty014.htm

Updated: July 2014

Comments

Thanks for writing this piece

Thanks for writing this piece of information to share with us.I found it really useful as i am going to travel to taipei soon.I am a bit worried about the weather,especially the heavy rain.But i believe God will bless us in our travelling.=)

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