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North chills; south awaits floods
Last Updated: 2017-10-10 09:49 | Xinhua
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A tourist takes a picture beside Santai Pavilion on Gaolan Mountain near Lanzhou, Gansu province, on Monday. The cold front that swept northern China brought the season's first snow to the city.[Photo by Pei Qiang/For China Daily]

Front expected to affect milder parts of country by Wednesday

For Li Qi, the first day of work after the eight-day National Day holiday seems rough both mentally and physically, due to the sharp drop in temperatures and a rain-triggered flight delay.

The 33-year-old IT worker and his family returned from the Philippines to Beijing on a flight that was scheduled to land on Sunday night. But low visibility due to fog and rain forced the aircraft to land at Shanghai instead.

Like Li, many visitors were confronted with flight delays, and even cancellations, on Sunday and Monday because of the weather in Beijing.

Visibility dropped to 125 meters in the early hours of Monday. It improved as the morning wore on, but it still affected flights.

As of 10 am, 133 flights at Beijing Capital International Airport had been canceled, and the Civil Aviation Authority of China warned passengers in the north to be aware of possible cancellations and delays.

Li's family was able to board a flight that landed in Beijing at 6 am on Monday, and he went to work after two hours' sleep.

"I'm exhausted after the long holiday, especially on such a chilly day," he said.

Beijing has seen temperatures drop by 10 degrees since Sunday-the result of a sweeping cold front-with a high of only 12 C on Monday. The cold will last until Wednesday, according to the National Meteorological Center.

The cold front rolled across the vast northern, northeastern and northwestern regions, bringing rainfall and temperature drops of 6 to 10 C. The center issued a warning about plunging temperatures on Monday, according to Zhang Fanghua, the chief forecaster.

In Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, residents saw their first snow of the season on Monday.

In other regions affected by the cold front, areas in Qinghai and Gansu provinces and the Ningxia Hui and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions had snow on Monday. Cold weather there will last two more days, the center said.

By contrast, the vast southern and eastern regions, including Guangzhou, Guangdong province, saw sunshine and temperatures above 30 C on Monday. The heat will continue on Tuesday, Zhang said.

But the cold front sweeping the north will start to affect the southern region beginning on Wednesday. The front is forecast to bring heavy rainfall, she said.

For the southwestern region, heavy rain is forecast for the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and its tributary, the Hanjiang River, which will result in flooding around Thursday, according to the Yangtze River Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on Monday.

In response, the headquarters ordered the Three Gorges Reservoir to prepare by cutting its outflow on Sunday and Monday to capture floodwaters.

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