More snow on the way as cold snap shifts

Updated:2018-01-08 09:49:53

  People living in central and eastern parts of China have been warned to expect more freezing wet weather in the coming days, with temperatures in some areas set to plummet by up to 10 degrees.

  Many regions are still recovering from the strong blizzard that has blanketed roads, railways and runways with deep snow, bringing chaos to transport networks.

  The cold snap that swept in from the northwest brought heavy snow to central regions, mainly Henan and Shanxi provinces, over the weekend.

  Freezing winds were forecast to spread south and east starting on Sunday, hitting the provinces of Jiangxi, Anhui and Hunan, and even some cities on the south coast in Guangdong and Fujian provinces, Ma Xuekuan, chief forecaster for the National Meteorological Center, said on Sunday.

  Residents in these regions have received warnings of a dramatic drop in temperature, including in the Hubei capital of Wuhan and the Anhui capital of Hefei, where the mercury is expected to drop by 10 degrees on Tuesday to reach record lows.

  "After the cold snap ends, the low temperatures in the southern region will last until Saturday," Ma said.

  Some 4.2 million square kilometers were battered by this winter's strongest blizzard, which lasted from Tuesday to Thursday. According to the authorities, 92 counties and cities in northwestern and central regions have reported record snowfall for January.

  The snow disrupted traffic, and damaged agricultural projects and some buildings, affecting more than 5.67 million people and causing a direct economic loss of 510 million yuan ($78.6 million), according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

  "Although the sweeping cold snap is not that strong, some regions, such as Guizhou and Hunan provinces, are advised to take precautions to prevent disasters caused by the freezing weather," the National Meteorological Center said in an earlier statement.

  Besides China, blizzards have also battered the United States, Canada and Europe. The "bomb cyclone" that slammed the east coast of the US this month killed at least 16, according to CNN.

  Some experts have suggested these storms may been connected.

  The winter weather systems that cause snow and other phenomena in the Northern Hemisphere usually affect a certain region. For example, China is affected by the Siberian High, a massive collection of cold dry air that accumulates from September to April, Song Wenling, an expert from the National Climate Center, told China News Service on Sunday.

  However, these systems are not separate because the hemisphere's atmospheric motion means they affect each other, she said, adding there may be some relation between the extremely cold weather.