Droughty Beijing embraces largest snowfall this winter

13:17, February 26, 2011      

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A pedestrian walks in snow in Beijing, China, early on Feb. 26, 2011. Beijing witnessed a snowfall Sunday.

Moderate snow fell in Beijing Saturday morning, bringing some relief to the droughty Chinese capital in the past winter.

The snow, with an average precipitation of 2.7 mm in the entire region of the municipality and 1.9 mm in the downtown area, began at around 2 a.m Saturday. Snowfall would go on and off over the weekend, resulting in the longest snowy weather of this winter in Beijing, a spokesman with the city's weather bureau said Saturday.

Precipitation in some suburban areas reached 10.2 mm, the heaviest the city had seen so far this winter, he added.

The highest temperature in daytime would be pulled down eight degrees Celsius to reach two or three degrees Celsius, and the lowest temperature would drop to four degrees below zero during the weekend, said the spokesman.

This is the third snow Beijing has embraced this year, with the first one falling on Feb. 9, the latest first snow for the city in 60 years.

The moderate precipitation would help alleviate drought in Beijing, as the city had not seen any precipitation for 108 days before the first snow two weeks ago, said Guo Jinlan, chief weatherman of the bureau.

Snowfall together with strong winds also helped dissipate the haze that had shrouded the city for four days and greatly improved air quality, according to the municipal bureau of environmental protection.

Heavy fog had enveloped Beijing earlier this week. With the visibility of around one kilometer, the city's air pollution had been measured as the most hazardous level this year.

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