Cold wave to linger for days across China

Most northern regions are expected to experience daily minimum temperatures that are 5 C, or more, below historical averages.


People admire rime formed on trees during a cold snap in Baoji, Shaanxi province, on Thursday. PHOTO: CHINA DAILY

December 20, 2023

BEIJING – Below-average temperatures will continue across the country this week due to the lingering effects of a cold wave that will affect the country’s transportation system, heating supplies and agriculture.

The China Meteorological Administration again issued a yellow cold wave warning on Monday, the second highest of the three-tier system, as temperatures across the nation remained well below average for this time of year. The first such warning this winter was issued on Saturday.

Low temperatures are expected in various regions over the next three days, and also over the next 10 days in some areas, the National Meteorological Center said.

From Monday through Thursday, most northern regions are expected to experience daily minimum temperatures that are 5 C, or more, below historical averages, the center said.

A new wave of cold air is forecast to move from the north to the south, affecting the central and eastern parts of the country. Temperatures are expected to drop by 4 to 8 C in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and the central and western parts of Northwest China.

On Monday and Tuesday, most of the country’s southern regions are forecast to experience rain or snow. Freezing rain is expected in some high-altitude areas in Guizhou and Hunan provinces.

The National Meteorological Center said that the prolonged cold spell is expected to have far-reaching impacts. Heating demand will remain high, leading to a substantial increase in the consumption of coal, natural gas and electricity.

The continued low temperatures pose risks to agriculture and livestock in northern regions, as well as in densely populated areas along the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers.

As China remains in the grip of winter, authorities are mobilizing resources and implementing measures to address the challenges posed by the prolonged cold weather.

The National Commission for Disaster Reduction issued a notice to local branches and relevant departments on Sunday. The directive called for issuing warnings for snowfall, cold waves and icy road conditions through multiple channels.

Authorities have been instructed to implement various measures to ensure smooth traffic flow, have snow removal and ice-melting equipment ready, and intensify patrols on critical road sections to prevent accidents.

The directive said that market regulation efforts are to be intensified to curb illegal activities such as price manipulation and hoarding.

In response to the situation in Shanxi province, the Ministry of Emergency Management and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration dispatched 10,000 cotton jackets, 10,000 quilts and 5,000 units of emergency lighting equipment. The relief supplies have reached affected areas, including Yuanqu county, Wenxi county and Changzhi city.

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