CHINA / SOCIETY
Beijing’s first snow comes 23 days earlier; temperature to hit 10-year record low
Published: Nov 07, 2021 01:41 PM
Photo taken on Nov. 6, 2021 shows the Palace Museum amid falling snow in Beijing, capital of China. Heavy snowfall swept Beijing on Saturday and brought low temperatures.Photo:Xinhua

Photo taken on Nov. 6, 2021 shows the Palace Museum amid falling snow in Beijing, capital of China. Heavy snowfall swept Beijing on Saturday and brought low temperatures.Photo:Xinhua



Beijing's first snow came 23 days earlier this winter season, and the temperature in the capital may hit a 10-year record low, which has led to the suspension of buses, as well as cancellation of flights and trains.

COVID-19-affected regions will operate special snow and ice shoveling standards -snow in the epidemic-related enclosed and controlled area will be stacked and dissipated on the spot in the enclosed area, and it is not allowed to be transported out of the area, according to the Beijing Municipal Management Committee. 

The committee said the city has made all-out preparations in advance. Standby personnel of 56,000, a reserve of 33,000 tons of snow melting agent and 30,000 tons of snow melting fluid were ready to carry out snow removal.

Capital International Airport plans to take off and land 494 flights on Sunday. As of 8 am, 63 flights have been executed and 10 flights have been cancelled. The airport has activated first level responding mechanism to ensure the safe travel of passengers. The Daxing airport had adjusted the planned flights to 222 on Sunday.

At least 175 bus lines were suspended. The bus system in the capital has decided to shorten interval between departures and extend their operating time in key areas to ease the travel of passengers and reduce their waiting time in the snow. 

At least nine trains at the departure station in Beijing were suspended on Sunday affected by blizzard. 

As the blizzard sweeps across Beijing, snow has also reached neighboring Hebei, Tianjin, Inner Mongolia and also Northeast China's Liaoning. Some 140 highways in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Qinghai and Liaoning were closed. 

Since Beijing Meteorological Observatory issued a yellow cold wave warning on November 5, Beijing has sounded four major warnings at once, the other three - yellow warning for strong wind, snow, icy road - were issued on Saturday. 

The warning for blizzard was raised to orange on Sunday morning. Heavy snow is expected to sweep nine cities and regions across China, according to the Central Meteorological Observatory.

Since Saturday night, social media was crammed with pictures and videos of the first snow of the year. At least 10 trendy topics on social media platform Sina Weibo were related to the snow. 

The snow is expected to last till Sunday afternoon. From Saturday night to 14:00 on Sunday, most areas of the city will see snowfalls greater than 6 mm, and in some areas, it will be greater than 15 millimeters, according to Beijing Meteorological Observatory. 

The snow in high-altitude regions will reach 25 millimeters and its depth could top 30 centimeters. The depth of snow in Yanqing district already reached 9 centimeters on Saturday night around 8 pm.

Affected by the rain and snow weather, coupled with the low ground temperature, roads in the capital are becoming icy. 

Lei Lei, chief forecaster of the Beijing Meteorological Observatory, said the temperature in the capital may fall below the lowest value for the same period in the past decade. 

The average temperature will stay between -1 C and 2 C during the day and the lowest temperature at night will be between -5 and -4 C. The lowest temperature in mountainous regions is around -9 C,Lei said.

The lowest temp ever recorded by the observatory in the first half of November in the past ten years is -4 C on November 1, 2016.

The temperature in the capital will slowly rise from Tuesday. 

This year's first snow was 23 days earlier than the usual first snow of the capital on November 29. The earliest date of first snow in Beijing's meteorological history was October 31 in the winter of 1987/88, and the latest occurrence date was February 11 in the winter of 1983/84.

The Central Meteorological Observatory predicted that from Saturday night till Monday night, temperature from northwest to southeast in central and eastern China will drop by 8-10 C successively. In some areas, the drop will reach 12-14 C. 

Global Times
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