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Second-longest nonstop rainfall in Taipei recorded yesterday

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) recorded yesterday the second-longest nonstop rainfall in the history of Taipei, only five days short of the longest stretch of rain recorded in December 1956.

Due to the southward migration of the cold front, temperatures will continue to drop all around Taiwan until Dec. 30, said CWB weather forecaster Chen Yi-hsiu (陳伊秀), though to little significance as the departure of the cold front will only raise the temperature a mere 3°C.

Taipei has observed a very moist winter this year, with chill temperatures accompanied by 15 days straight of rainfall. The phenomenon has been recorded as one of the longest continuous periods of rain, falling into second place behind the 20 days of rainfall recorded in December 1956. The amount of cumulative rainfall has also been recorded as the second heaviest behind 1902.

According to Wu Te-jung (吳德榮), Associate Professor at the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at National Central University, due to the heavy amount of moisture this year accompanying the southward northern fronts, the entire country observed significant amounts of rainfall.

Chen also stated that though temperatures all around the country will drop most significantly during the night, the amount of rain will decrease in the northern parts of Taiwan. CWB officially issued a low temperature warning, urging the general public to stay warm and to be careful when using heating appliances.

Seasonal Emotional Disorders on the Rise

After 15 days of continuous rain with little sunshine, various hospitals have observed a rise in patient numbers at psychiatric clinics. Not only have consultations increased, depression relapses have also escalated.

According to Dr. Pan Chien-chih (潘建志), psychiatric physician at Wan Fang Hospital, seasonal depression patients are usually associated with the white collar demographic. The combination of gloomy weather along with financial pressures from the upcoming Chinese New Year as well as long work hours with little pay plays a key part in triggering depressive emotions. Moodiness can also cause an unhealthy increase in dietary intake and, eventually, obesity.

Psychiatrist Yang Tsung-tsai (楊聰財) also attributes the decrease in secretions of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin to the gloomy weather, stating that these climate patterns may lead to symptoms of depression, laziness and insomnia.

To combat these symptoms, Yang suggests a healthy sleep schedule and a healthy diet. Keeping a motivational diary can also help with positive self-reinforcement. But most importantly, Yang recommends the stimulation of the body and mind through exercise. The lack of exercise in the rainy weather can be easily solved, as walking for up to thirty minutes daily, whether in shopping malls or in metro stations, is more than sufficient exercise for the body.

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