The mercury pummeled to -19.6 °C (-3.3 °F) in China's capital Beijing on Thursday morning, January 7, 2021, marking the city's coldest morning since 1966, when the mercury dipped to -27.4 °C (-17.3 °F).
Early Thursday morning, half of Beijing's 20 national-level meteorological stations recorded their lowest-ever January temperatures, according to Lei Lei, the chief forecaster of the Beijing municipal meteorological station.
Temperatures of -19.6 °C (-3.3 °F) smashed the previous cold weather record set in 1969 and also marked the lowest since 1966 when the mercury fell to -27.4 °C (-17.3 °F).
The cold weather conditions occurred when the atmosphere over the city was extremely dry-- there was no snow and little ice.
Beijing is really cold, MINUS 19 degrees pic.twitter.com/vFdlwVaImy— Meili Jayuan (@MJayuan) January 7, 2021
The mercury dipped to minus 19.6 degrees Celsius at a meteorological station in the south of #Beijing on Thursday morning as a strong cold wave swept the city, marking the coldest morning in the Chinese capital since 1966. pic.twitter.com/WEmxM8058h— Economic Daily, China (@EDNewsChina) January 7, 2021
On the coldest day in Beijing, Nanmen winter swimming enthusiasts performed diving, challenging the cold and enjoying themselves. pic.twitter.com/xk3AdcelZA— gaodonghai (@gaodonghai1) January 7, 2021
Jan 5 marks the beginning of xiǎo hán 小寒 Lesser Cold, the penultimate micro-season in the lunar-solar calendar, which marks the beginning of the end of the year!— Visit Beijing (@VisitBeijingcn) January 5, 2021
Simatai Great Wall#24SolarTerms #IntangibleCulturalHeritage #GreatWallOfChina pic.twitter.com/be2blbVpqz
Local reports said the last time temperatures dropped to this level, the founder of communist China Chairman Mao was at the helm, and about to venture on the 10-year Cultural Revolution.
While Beijing commonly faces dry winters due to sharp currents from the northeast, climate change campaigners warn that the number of extreme weather events may become more deadly.
The city has been gripped by a cold wave since Wednesday, January 6, which has brought drastic temperature drops and powerful winds.
Featured image credit: Meili Jayuan