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More cold fronts expected this month
By Liang Chao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-05 08:38

People in the north will likely have to wear their heavy winter coats the rest of this month, with at least three cold fronts expected to move into the region.

The cold fronts should hit the first, middle and last 10 days of the month, with the strongest before January 10.

"The ongoing chilly winter will go on just like we've experienced over the past three weeks," Wang Bangzhong, deputy director of the Department of Forecasting Services and Disaster Mitigation at the China Meteorological Administration said at a press conference.

However, temperatures throughout China should remain higher than in a typical year for the rest of the winter with the mercury at least 1 C above average in many areas, Wang said.

"China is still experiencing the third warmest winter since 1961," he said.

Meanwhile, drought conditions in parts of China may not be relieved since less precipitation is predicted for most of the country.

In Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, precipitation from seasonal snowfall will drop by at least 20 per cent compared with that of the same period in the previous year, Wang said.

In the north, "less than 10 millimetres of precipitation is expected in most parts of the region this month due to the winter's ongoing dry and cold weather," Wang said.

In the south, including areas south of the Yangtze River and parts of southern China, precipitation of up to 50 millimetres is expected to alleviate a catastrophic drought, the worst in 53 years. The dry spell has plagued Guangdong and Hainan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region since last autumn.

By February and March, Wang said he hopes rainy weather will benefit the sowing of early rice in South China.

Reviewing last year's weather, Wang confirmed that "China experienced a relatively good year with far fewer weather-related disasters when compared with previous years."


Although not many losses were caused by last year's drought, deluges and typhoons - usually the worst disasters of a year - damages resulted from regional rain storms and floods, hail storms, lightning strikes and mud and rock flows increased, statistics show.

Over the past year, China experienced 10 major extreme weather phenomena and calamities, including typhoons, droughts, lightning strikes, dust storms, rain storms, hail storms, severe frosts, heat waves and warm winters.

Eight typhoons caused 109 deaths in China and damaged more than 700,000 hectares of crops.

In autumn, a catastrophic drought hit southern China and areas along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River with more than 40 million people plagued by shortages of water supply .

The drought in South China was "the worst since 1951" while a prolonged dry spell ravaged the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region," says a report released by the China Meteorological Administration.

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