Rainfall in Beijing will help bring down the summer heat and clear the haze shrouding the Olympic host city, a senior weather official said Sunday.
"The rain will last till tomorrow and clear skies are ahead," Guo Hu, director of the Beijing Meteorological Center, told a press conference at the Beijing International Media Center.
Spectators wait under the rain for the tennis tournament of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to begin, at the centre court of the Olympic Green Tennis Centre in Beijing on August 10, 2008. [Agencies]
Weather conditions will be favorable for dispersing pollutants, while the temperature and humidity are expected to drop, Guo said. Top air quality for Monday was forecast.
Moderate to heavy showers fell on most parts of the capital Sunday, bringing the mercury down from 33 C to 27 C.
Still, Sunday's rain delayed the start of the tennis games for three hours and those in the evening were canceled. The wet weather may affect other outdoor Olympic events, Guo said, but organizers have been informed of the conditions so that they can make the necessary adjustments.
Drizzles have been forecast for the weekend and moderate to heavy rain might hit the city around Aug 19, said Wang Jianjie, deputy director of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau.
Temperatures in Beijing are expected to match the average of 25 C for August seen in the last three decades, Wang said. The mercury might also hit a high of 32 C.
"However, the hot and humid weather of the past few days is unlikely to occur," she said.
Meteorologists will intensify efforts to increase accuracy in forecasts, put out on a three-hourly and hourly basis for Olympic venues in Chinese and English, Wang said.
Contingency plans may also be carried out if rain is expected during major events such as the closing ceremony, she said.
About 1,110 cloud-seeding rockets were fired from Beijing and nearby Hebei province on Friday to disperse rain for the opening ceremony of the Games, official said.