North China hit by sudden cold snap

By Zhang Wen Source:Global Times Published: 2013-4-20 1:23:01

Many cities in North China including Taiyuan in Shanxi Province and Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province experienced unusually cold weather and heavy snow in late spring on Friday, according to the National Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological Administration.

The temperature in Taiyuan plummeted by 32 degrees over the past three days to zero Friday, and Shijiazhuang broke the record for the latest snow, which was formerly April 12 in 2006, according to the China News Service.

"It's rare for so many places to see such low temperatures and snow in late spring," Zhang Fanghua, chief forecaster at the center, told the Global Times, explaining that a major cold air flow is the cause.

Late snow also hit northern parts of Shandong Province and Henan Province Friday.

Most provinces and regions in North and East China, including Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and the northeastern provinces, have experienced two to five degrees lower than the average temperature of the past three decades in the past few days, said Zhang.

The last snow in the above provinces and regions is usually seen mid- to late March.

The sudden temperature fall might result in a decrease in production output of certain goods, such as wheat and forest fruit, as some of them already started to grow when the weather was warm, but the sudden cold might shorten their growing period, Zhang said.

"This cold air flow will transfer to the south over the weekend but as it gets weaker, it won't cause an obvious temperature decrease, and the whole country will start to get warmer after the weekend," Zhang said.

At the same time, hailstorms have battered parts of Central China's Hunan Province since Thursday, leaving three people dead, local authorities said Friday.

"I was wearing a skirt the day before yesterday when it was 30 C, and had to wear an extra pair of pants yesterday. Today I have to wear down jacket in the snow. I have experienced four seasons in three days!" said Wang Min, a college student in Taiyuan, voicing the shock felt by residents.

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