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Weather forecast glitch raises eyebrows in Jinan

By HOU LIQIANG | China Daily | Updated: 2018-02-14 09:04

Pleasantly warm weather expected for most of country over holiday

Weather is one of things that most concern Chinese as they celebrate the Spring Festival holiday, which almost always involves long trips home to visit relatives and friends.

Many of the residents in Shandong's provincial capital Jinan, however, were left astonished on Monday when they checked the weather forecast for the 7 day holiday that officially begins this week.

While many places such as Jinan were expected to be bitterly cold, the average daytime temperature in the city was forecast to range from only 8 C on Wednesday to 28 C the next day and would stay at that level for days, Monday's online forecast showed.

"I planned to put away my thick clothes and wear my summer dresses for the festival," said one female netizen on China's Twitter-like platform Weibo. The Spring Festival falls on Friday this year.

The high temperature spike, however, soon turned out to be false due to technical failure on the National Meteorological Center's weather forecasting platform.

"The engineers were bombarded with constant phone calls about what happened. Are the computers of the forecasting platform also preparing for a festival break?" the center joked on its Weibo account.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, which oversees the center, false forecasts were discovered in 13 provincial regions.

After the bug was removed, the latest forecasts found that most people across the country will experience a warmer than usual holiday.

Northwest China, however, will see relatively low temperatures and heavy air pollution, according to authorities.

"Neither cold fronts nor wide-ranging freezing weather will happen in the country during the holiday. Generally speaking, the meteorological conditions will be favorable for holiday activities," said Ma Xuekuan, chief forecaster of the National Meteorological Center.

Temperatures in most parts of the country, excluding the Northeast and Northwest, will be higher than average, Ma said.

While most regions in the northern part of the country will witness little precipitation during the holiday, people in southern areas will experience drizzle that may last for up to five days beginning Saturday.

There may be heavy rainfall in some areas in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin and some areas south of the river, he said.

The higher temperatures in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze may affect aircraft passing over the area and make flights uncomfortable. The fog in Southwest China during the holiday may affect airline departures and arrivals, he said.

People in northern parts of the country are more likely to be affected by heavy air pollution during the holiday because of unfavorable meteorological conditions for the dispersal of pollutants, said the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Tuesday.

"Generally, most regions will experience good air, or mild air pollution. Due to unfavorable meteorological conditions, however, North and Northwest China will be hit by moderate or even heavy pollution," said the ministry.

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