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Mercury to head south up north
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08:41, December 02, 2008

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Beijing residents can say goodbye to the recent warm weather - a cold front will hit northern China tomorrow, the Beijing meteorological center said yesterday.

"We may have to issue the first blue cold wave warning. We expect the temperature to drop by more than 10 C overnight," Guo Hu, director of the center, said at a press briefing yesterday.

A blue cold wave warning is issued when the temperature drops to 8 C and the windforce is 5 or above. Beijing will not be the only city to be hit, weather forecasters said.

In the next three days, a strong cold front from west Siberia will affect most parts of China, and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region will experience snow and gales, Zhai Panmao, China Meteorological Administration spokesman, said yesterday.

As the cold front passes, temperatures in some areas could drop by 14 C to 16 C, giving people the first real experience of winter this year, Zhai said.

In fact, the whole month is going to be cold, as the average temperature in most parts of the country will be 1 C lower than last December, he said.

"Related departments should get ready for the coming weather in order to keep traffic flowing and telecommunication facilities working," Zhai said.

In the past month, there have been heavy snowfalls in northeast China and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Icy roads claimed the lives of 11 people when a bus skidded off the Harbin-Tongjiang Expressway and overturned on Nov 15.

In the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, icy conditions forced the closure of a highway for more than 20 hours last month, leaving more than 1,400 people and 600 vehicles stranded.

Severe flooding in western regions of China between Oct 24 and Nov 7, claimed the lives of 40 people, and the evacuation of more than 60,000.

Source: China Daily

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