Freezing weather unlikely this winter

10:30, October 20, 2010      

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Parts of North China are already being hit by unusual cold spells, but Chinese scientists have been saying that the extremely cold winter predicted recently by Polish scientists is unlikely.

Because of the cold air mass, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Hebei and Shandong provinces, as well as Beijing, have experienced dramatic temperature drops recently.

A strong cold air mass will hit most parts of the country through next Tuesday, heralding winter's first cold, Sun Jun, chief forecaster of the National Meteorological Center, said.

On Wednesday, snow and rains are expected for Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Jilin, while parts of South China will see a dramatic fall in temperatures, a forecast said.

The people of Beijing have been bundling up in their overcoats and boots because of the unusual cold, with temperatures on Monday hitting a record low over the last 25 years.

Monday highs in the city reached 8.9 C, only 0.3 C higher than for the same day in 1986, Sun Jisong, chief forecaster for the city's meteorological station, told China Daily on Tuesday.

Beijing's odd cold spell has caused people to wonder about the recent weather predictions in Europe about it being the coldest for the last 1,000 years.

Polish scientists said this year could be extremely cold because of the slow movement of the Gulf Stream influenced by La Nina, meaning it cannot offset the cold Arctic winds.

However, Ren Fumin, a researcher at the China Meteorological Administration, said it is unlikely that Europe will be hit by as cold a winter as the Polish scientists have predicted.

Global climate forecasts are not that easy, "because the climate system is complicated and influenced by many elements such as the ocean, the atmosphere and seasonal winds," Ren said.

For Polish scientists to reach that conclusion based only on the Gulf Stream and La Nina is not scientific, he concluded.

Source: China Daily


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