Golden week celebrations turn chilly as cold snap hits China

The cold front has brought snow to the Hami prefecture in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region in north-western China.
The cold front has brought snow to the Hami prefecture in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region in north-western China.PHOTO: XINHUA

Temperatures fall below zero with snow in some parts during country's 8-day holiday

BEIJING • A strong cold front sweeping from north to south has sent temperatures plummeting in many parts of China, with more chilly weather expected tomorrow.

Residents in the north were also bracing themselves for more smog yesterday, according to the National Meteorological Centre.

China is enjoying an eight-day holiday, which started on Sunday, for National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival. Yet, many people in the north have had to celebrate the two occasions in the coldest weather in years, China Daily reported.

The highest temperature in Beijing on Monday was 19 deg C, down by 7 deg C from the day before. Some areas in the north-east have experienced a drop of between 12 deg C and 20 deg C, bringing temperatures to below zero.

Due to the cold front, the northeastern part of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region experienced its coldest Mid-Autumn Day in a decade on Wednesday, when the mercury fell by more than 10 deg C, reported China Daily.

The region is likely to see snow, according to forecasts by the local meteorological centre.

The authorities have warned motorists about potentially icy road conditions and suggested that travellers keep themselves warm when they return home from other parts of China after the long holiday.

About 461 million Chinese tourists travelled around the country in the first four days of the long holiday, the China National Tourism Administration said on Wednesday, according to Xinhua news agency.

The cold front has also affected the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region in north-western China, bringing snow to Hami prefecture and Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture. Hami prefecture had its first snowfall this autumn last Sunday. Snowfall in some areas there has reached 20cm, according to China Daily.

Meanwhile, Chongqing and Sichuan province in south-western China as well as Hubei province in central China have been hit by heavy rains this week.

While rain and snow have caused inconvenience, some people have been enjoying the stunning views resulting from the cold snap.

Mr Ma Xin, 60, spent the long holiday in Kanas, an area in Xinjiang's Altay prefecture famous for its lakes that are created by glacial movement.

"It suddenly began to snow on Thursday when I was taking pictures of the golden pine tree forests. It was just magical," he told China Daily.

Mr Ma, who lives in the regional capital, Urumqi, said he often visits Kanas to enjoy the scenery and noted that snow had fallen earlier than usual this year.

However, he would be cutting short his trip this year as he is concerned that icy roads would lead to slower traffic and massive jams when many rush to go home at the end of the long holiday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2017, with the headline 'Celebrations turn chilly as cold snap hits China'. Print Edition | Subscribe