China Issues Emergency Notice in Response to Extended Winter Storm

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Image: A man walks by a frozen lake at a park during winter solstice in Beijing, China Dec. 22, 2023. Source: Voice of America

China, which has already experienced a record setting period of extremely cold temperatures this winter is bracing for what is expected to be the longest sustained period of cold, snow, and ice this winter.

In late December, Beijing, China’s capital, experienced more than 300 hours straight of below freezing temperatures, breaking a more than 70 year old record, set in 1951.

As of January 29, in response to winter weather alerts issued by the China Meteorological Administration, Tridge.com reports that China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs “has issued an emergency notice, urging agricultural and rural departments to enhance risk awareness and disaster prevention to safeguard agricultural production … emphasiz[ing] the need for advanced response plans to ensure the stability of fresh agricultural products….”

Reporting on the expected spell of extreme winter weather, Tridge.com writes:

According to the China Meteorological Administration, from January 31 to February 5, the central and eastern regions will experience the longest-lasting large-scale freezing rain and snow weather since the beginning of winter and the largest number of provinces with freezing rain. The cumulative snowfall in some areas is close to or exceeds that of the same period in history. , extreme. The Spring Festival is approaching, which is the peak consumption season for “vegetable basket” products and is also a critical period for facility production. Continuous rain, snow and freezing weather may pose a greater threat to agricultural facilities and production.

China’s Spring Festival is expected to be impacted by the winter weather which, as of January 29, had already begun making travel difficult.

“From Wednesday to Monday ahead of the Spring Festival, China’s central and eastern regions will see a large range of persistent rain and snow, while at least 10 provinces will experience severe blizzards, according to the National [Climate] Center,” reports CGTM. “It is expected that the duration of the rainfall and snowfall will be the longest this winter, and the impact is forecast to be the most widespread.

“The period of rain and snow is set to coincide with the peak of the Chunyun, or Spring Festival travel rush in China, and the areas seriously affected by the extreme weather are in provinces where the country’s central transportation hubs are located,” CGTM continued. “As of 8 a.m. on Monday [January 29], due to snow and icy roads, a total of 11 road sections and 44 toll stations were closed in eight provinces and region[s], including Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Henan, Hubei and Guangdong provinces, according to the Highway Monitoring and Response Center of the Ministry of Transport.”

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