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No break in extreme weather for South China

By Wang Qian  (China Daily)

08:18, April 03, 2013

South China has experienced its worst month of extreme weather since 1998, and more is on the way in April, meteorological authorities said on Tuesday.

Heavy storms hit Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Guangdong provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region for nine days in March, said Chen Zhenlin, a spokesman for the China Meteorological Administration.

The extreme weather claimed about 30 lives and caused direct economic losses in the billions of yuan, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The National Meteorological Center has forecast storms in parts of southern China, such as Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces, during the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday from Thursday to Saturday.

Chen urged authorities to take measures to prevent casualties and economic losses and increase public awareness of the dangers of extreme convective weather.

After the holiday, another round of storms is expected to hit the south on April 9, but the scale cannot be narrowed down with the forecasting technology, Chen said.

Convective storms can produce tornadoes, large hailstones, strong winds, lightning and thunder, and heavy rain.

Zheng Yongguang, a researcher at the strong convective forecast center under the National Climate Center, said meteorologists can forecast the general scale and degree of an extreme weather event within two days at most.

"Accurate forecasts can be made about 20 to 30 minutes in advance," Zheng added.

While the south is to be hit by extreme storms, dusty weather is expected to pass through parts of the north, including Gansu province, and the Xinjiang Uygur, Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Hui autonomous regions from Wednesday to Saturday, according to a 10-day weather report by the meteorological center.

Central and eastern parts of China will see temperatures drop to 12 C this week and even lower before April 12, with two cold snaps expected, the report said.

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