Temperatures to drop as cold air heads south
A blast of cold air will move from north to south into most parts of China from Sunday until Tuesday, with temperatures in the northeast expected to dive by 10 C and remain low over the next few days, the National Meteorological Center forecast on Sunday.
Starting from Sunday, precipitation could bring rain to southern parts and heavy snow to some areas in Northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, the center said.
Temperatures in Central and East China could drop by 4 C to 8 C, while those in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region and the Northeast could plummet by 10 C. A strong wind, gusting up to 88 kilometers per hour, will blow from northwestern parts to the northeast, the north and the Huanghuai area-between the Yellow and the Huaihe rivers-bringing hazy weather to Inner Mongolia and other places.
In the southern part of the Huanghuai area and the eastern part of the Jiangnan area-south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, temperatures topped 15 C on Sunday, the highest of the year and up 6 C year-on-year.
Although these regions will be slightly affected by the coming cold air, temperatures will remain relatively high and could rise again after the "Beginning of Spring", the first solar term in the Chinese calendar, which falls on Wednesday.
However, temperatures will plummet in Northeast China. In Shenyang, Liaoning province, for instance, the temperature could fall from 3 C on Sunday to-9 C on Monday and remain low for the next week. The center urged residents of the region to take measures to keep warm.
A new round of rain and snow began on Saturday. Northeast China saw 5 to 9 millimeters of snow, while some parts of South China had up to 27 millimeters of rain on Sunday.
The center forecast the snow will fade away on Monday while the rain could end on Tuesday. It warned drivers in the North to beware of icy roads and snowdrifts amid the Lunar New Year travel rush.
Su Tao, an official with China Railway Harbin Group, said recent, ongoing low temperatures in Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia had posed challenges for railway transportation.
"Since the Spring Festival travel rush began on Thursday, the lowest air temperature has been around-46 C, which is quite rare in recent years as it usually begins to rise in late January," Su said.
Though passenger volume has shrunk this year due to COVID-19 control measures, the railway group still organized about 10,000 employees to sweep snow at night and cover locomotives with insulation, he added.