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China issues warning for strongest winter weather since 2009 during Spring Festival travel

850 hpa temperature anomaly se asia 06z january 9 2024 f

Amid the ongoing Spring Festival travel rush, China faces significant weather challenges with the National Meteorological Center issuing a blue alert for heavy snowfall in several provinces.

China’s National Meteorological Center renewed a blue alert on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, for heavy snow in parts of the country.

From Wednesday morning to Thursday morning, regions including Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, and Jiangsu are expected to experience snowstorms, with snowfall ranging from 2 cm to 5 cm (0.8 – 2 inches). This weather event is particularly significant during the ongoing Spring Festival travel rush, known as “chunyun,” a period when millions travel to reunite with family.

Authorities have been advised to prepare for the impacts of extensive rain, snow, and freezing weather, which could affect roads, railways, electricity, and telecommunications.

The Ministry of Emergency Management highlighted the severity of the current weather pattern, stating it as the strongest winter weather since 2009.

As a response, a Level IV emergency response, the least severe in China’s system, has been activated for provinces including Hebei, Shanxi, Jiangsu, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, and Shaanxi.

Pedestrians and drivers are urged to exercise caution during the snowy conditions.

The ministry has called on the affected provinces to strengthen rescue forces, arrange for supply allocation, prepare disaster relief in advance, make every effort to respond to emergencies, and strictly prevent casualties and major property losses.

References:

1 China issues blue alert for blizzards – China Daily – January 31, 2024

2 China issues blue alert for blizzards – Xinhua – January 31, 2024

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