Third cold snap set to strike

By Cheng Yingqi (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-12-29 07:58
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BEIJING - A new blast of cold air will hit the country in the next three days, following two rounds of temperature falls in the past month, a meteorological authority said on Tuesday.

The National Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological Administration posted a warning of a cold snap on its website on Tuesday, saying that from Tuesday afternoon to Thursday freezing air will strike Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, North China and some areas in Southwest and East China.

The cold wave is likely to bring a 12 C to 14 C drop in temperatures along with wind and snowfalls in some regions.

"The cold wave came from the northwest, entered Xinjiang this morning and will move southeast along the Gansu Corridor (in Northwest China) in one or two days," said Lin Jian, the chief forecaster of the administration.

"This cold air is different from the last two because it won't chill most areas in South China," Lin said.

The past month saw two rounds of colder weather, on Dec 14 and 22, forcing temperatures to drop in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, East China's Shandong province and all of North China.

Blizzards have hit Altay in north Xinjiang since Sunday night, resulting in 150 cm-deep snow on the ground in mountainous areas.

The temperature there will stay at -26 C until Wednesday before dropping further on Thursday, said Li Li, a forecaster for Altay meteorological department.

Blizzards in the Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture, Xinjiang, on Dec 22 killed two people in a car and caused 20 snowslides along the G218 Highway.

Although snowstorms in Xinjiang ceased on Monday, persistent fog resulted in 14 flights being canceled and 26 delayed at the Urumqi, Yining and Tacheng airports.

In Shandong, the cold wave reduced temperatures to as low as -11 C in some costal areas. More than 100 fishing boats were frozen on the icy water in Laizhou Bay of northwest Shandong.

In Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, snow has been falling for four days and will not stop until Jan 3, the local meteorological bureau said.

Residents in the city were cleaning snow off the streets every day.

"The snow never stopped in the past four days, and the ice stuck to the ground was hard to get rid of," said a local resident surnamed Luo.

Shao Wei, Zhao Ruixue and Zhou Huying contributed to this story

China Daily