Heavy rains set to ease droughts in south and east
Droughts that have troubled South and East China since November will be alleviated by heavy rains that arrived on Tuesday.
The National Meteorological Center has forecast frequent rain till the end of the month that it says will ease or vanquish droughts in the provinces of Yunnan, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Fujian, and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
Since October, the areas have experienced 40 to 70 percent less rainfall than normal, depleting reservoirs, the center said.
In January, water supplies for hotels, road-watering vehicles and companies were reduced in Yueqing, Zhejiang, due to the drought, China Central Television reported.
"The coming rain will replenish reservoirs and pools while lowering forest fire risks," Xue Jianjun, the center's deputy head, said on Tuesday. "It will also aid spring farming."
The center said spring is well on the way, with little chance of widespread cold blasts or long-lasting snowy and icy weather. Average temperatures during the Spring Festival holiday from Thursday to Feb 17 will be higher than usual.
Holiday snow has been forecast for mountains in North China, parts of the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions and Heilongjiang province.
Air quality is expected to worsen in Sichuan province and the north of the Yangtze River Basin.
The China Climate Bulletin, released by the China Meteorological Administration at a news conference on Tuesday, said that the country's average temperature last year was 0.7 C higher than normal and precipitation was the fourth heaviest since 1951, causing floods in July.
Administration spokesman Song Shanyun said global warming had made extreme weather events and meteorological disasters more frequent.
"The intensity of the impact caused by global warming is increasing, but we still can't see the rules governing it clearly," Song said.
"It is necessary to take measures to deal with frequent and severe weather events, including the imbalanced distribution of precipitation and its influence on ecosystems, human health and the economy. It is important for the world to further reduce carbon emissions."