In the eyes of most people, Yangmingshan in spring is transformed into a sea of blooming flowers and mist. In summer, it is one of the best places to go to beat the heat; in autumn, the hillsides are covered with Silvergrass, and the occasional red leaves amongst the withering trees bring a touch of wistfulness to the landscape; in winter, the gloomy atmosphere is accentuated by sharp wind and chilling rain. This is occasionally and delightfully interrupted by a rare glimpse of winter sunshine or a surprising snowfall.
Yangmingshan is situated approximately at 25 degrees north latitude and features a clearly differentiated sub-tropical, monsoon climate. In summer, the south-west monsoons bring days with clear mornings and occasionally afternoon thunder showers; in winter, the north-east monsoons bring humid and rainy weather.
The annual rainfall can reach as high as 4,000 millimeters, with an average of 190 rainy days annually. Due to its higher elevation, the temperature in the Park is on average 3 to 4 degrees cooler than the rest of the Taipei Basin, resulting in cooler summers and cold winters. The mountainous topography and complex terrains result in a clear contrast of micro-climates within different areas of the Park; sometimes it can be raining on the east side, while the sun shines on the west side of a mountain. This clear vista can also be abruptly obscured by a sudden rise of misty fog, is a sight that has to be seen to be believed.
The abundant vapor in the mountains is one of the Park’s key characteristics. Depending on the time of day and different weather conditions, the vapors condense into mountain mists, clouds, rainy dew, frost or snowfall, appearing in many guises as they drift between the valleys and forests of the mountains. Occasionally, brilliant rainbows can be seen arching across valleys as the clouds clear, which adds yet another breathtaking park scene.
The glazed-glass like sea of clouds on Mt. Datun (photo by Yi Hsiang Chao)
A snowy scene over Mt. Qixing and the hot spring bath house (photo by Chih Wu Han)