Beijing dry spell likely to continue

Updated 2018-03-03 10:40:08 China Daily

Beijing has experienced virtually no precipitation for more than 130 days, and the situation is expected to continue until at least March 16, according to the China Meteorological Administration.

Under the influence of La Nina, dry, cold air in northern China has prevented the wet warm air in the south from moving north to Beijing and create precipitation, said Ma Xuekuan, chief forecaster at the National Meteorological Center, during a news conference organized by the administration on Friday.

La Nina, the opposite of El Nino, is an oceanic atmospheric phenomenon characterized by low sea temperatures across the equatorial east-central Pacific.

"The wet warm air meets cold air far south of Beijing," he said.

He added that the unique location of Beijing, with the Taihang and Yanshan mountains nearby, makes the rise of wet warm air in the region difficult, hindering precipitation.

According to the administration, Beijing is likely to see slight rain - 1 to 3 millimeters - on March 16 and 17.

The administration said that less sand and dust is likely for northern China this year, even though the region is drier than normal overall.

Chen Yu, another forecaster at the center, said the region may see increased sand and dust seven to 10 times in the coming spring. The average is 17 times. And only one or two sandstorms are expected.

The administration added that weather will be warm as lawmakers and political advisers meet in the annual two sessions. Blue skies are expected most of the time.

The average temperature in the capital during the two sessions, which will start on Saturday and run until March 20, will be 5 to 6 C, higher than the annual average of 4.2 C, said Zhang Zuqiang, a spokesman for the administration.

There may be some smog in Beijing on Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday, as well as on March 10 and 15, but no heavy smog will settle in, thanks to weak but frequent cold fronts, the administration said.

It's unlikely that Beijing will experience sandy or dusty weather during the two sessions, it said.

The first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference will open on Saturday, followed by the 13th National People's Congress on Monday.

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