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Beijing expects first snow
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-24 21:48

Residents in Beijing experienced a break from the unseasonal warm winter weather Wednesday as a cold front makes its way from Siberia into the country's inland.

The majority of northwestern and eastern parts of China will feel significant changes in temperature in the coming days, said the China Central Meteorological Observatory.

The mercury is forecast to drop 10 to 14 C in the northern regions of the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze.

The national weather service issued the first snow advisory yesterday for the nation's capital, however, experts warned the public not to expect too much as slight snow is easily turns into drizzle, if the temperature is not low enough.

Residents in Beijing had been basking in unseasonably warm weather for the past week.

"Current temperatures in the city are 2 to 3 C higher than average," said Li Tingfu, a forecaster with the local meteorological bureau, saying warm winter has been a trend globally and nothing too unusual.

He said the current temperature is also higher than the same period of the past three years.

According to Li, the cold front will not linger in Beijing long but will drive southwest into North China's Shanxi and Henan provinces.

"Warm sunny days will return to the city after the cold front moves on and the temperature is expected to hit around 10 C," Li said.

Li's words may prove good news for those hoping winter temperatures follow the fall's unseasonably warm weather.

For Wang Hua, a native of South China's Hainan Province where spring lasts year round, said she always has a hard time enduring Beijing's winter since coming to work in the capital three years ago.

"I do not know if the high temperature is a record or not but it is pretty warm and I have really enjoyed Beijing in this weather," she said.

However, some residents said the cool temperatures are a well-deserved break after the city went through such a long period of warm weather.

"How can winter be called winter without cold weather?" said Xiao Jin who has been eagerly awaiting snow-related activities.

He said he enjoys Beijing's weather with clear seasonal characteristics.

"Winter should be like winter and I am looking forward to the city's first snow," he said.

Like it or not, colder weather is in the city now and doctors call on the residents to prepare for the low temperature.

"Flu and colds are more common in the late autumn and early winter when the seasons change," said Liang Ying, director of the respiratory illness department of the Beijing-based Anzhen Hospital.

She asks residents to keep warm and put on more clothes to fight against the cold weather, "regular physical exercise is very important to help get rid of the cold," she said.

Liang said residents should pay special attention to respiratory illnesses as Beijing's winter is always very dry, especially when the heating system is on.

"Keeping rooms ventilated and moist will be helpful," she added.

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