Flowing ice covers the Yellow River in Jixian county, Shanxi province, on Wednesday. The section has seen an increase in ice due to the cold weather.
Cities in the Yangtze River Delta including Shanghai and Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, experienced their first snow on Wednesday, brought by a strong cold front from the north.
As heavy snow continues to hit central and eastern China and the cold front continues to bring down temperatures in the region, the country's national observatory maintained a yellow snowstorm alert and a blue cold alert for Thursday. In the country's four-tier weather warning system, red is the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
The National Meteorological Center said it expected 5 to 12 centimeters of snow in parts of Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi and Zhejiang provinces. Blizzards are expected to drop new snow of up to 20 centimeters in some areas, it said.
Residents have been advised to stay indoors while local authorities take safety precautions on roads and railways.
Railway authorities in the Yangtze River Delta suspended railway services running through the region on Thursday, including lines from Beijing to Shanghai, Nanjing, Jiangsu province, to Chengdu, Sichuan province, and Shanghai to Nanjing. A total of 16 trains departing from Hangzhou between Wednesday and Friday have also been canceled, according to the Hangzhou Railway Station on Wednesday.
Education authorities in parts of Jiangsu and Anhui provinces asked schools to close on Thursday and Friday and move final exams for the semester to a later date. As Thursday marks the final school day in Shanghai, students are advised to take care on their way to school and late arrivals will be permitted.
Although Shanghai has not been affected by the severe weather by press time, authorities don't exclude the possibility of a red alert for snow storms. If the alert is on, schools should suspend classes and people working on construction sites and in ports should stay at home.
Three maneuvers have been carried out at both Pudong and Hongqiao international airports to simulate frozen aircraft and runways as well as mass flight delays, the Shanghai airport authority said.
As the Spring Festival approaches, many people are worried that the severe weather will hinder their travel plans.
However, Yao Yeqing, senior engineer at the Anhui Public Meteorological Service Center, told jiemian.com on Wednesday that as the interaction of cold and warm air will only last for five days, only two heavy snow falls are expected during the period.
In Shanghai, light snow started to fall across the city in the late afternoon on Wednesday, much to the delight of many citizens. Expectations of the snow have run high since earlier this week when the city's weather forecaster warned of its advent.