At dew time on Saturday morning (Jan. 23), the temperature in Beijing plummeted to -33 C while in the afternoon on the same day it reached -28 C (including the wind-chill factor generated by a strong 30-miles west/north-west wind), the lowest in almost three decades.
As China Daily mentioned in their edition of the same day, teams of outdoor workers are braving falling temperatures, howling winds and snowstorms affecting many areas of China to keep vital services running, while being careful about the challenging conditions in which they are working.
According to a report by the National Meteorological Center, on cold and windy days when temperatures fall below -30 C, there is the risk of frostbite if people stay outdoors for more than 10 minutes. Soldiers patrolling the country’s northern border with Russia said that they never experienced such biting winds as in recent days when the temperature dropped to a record low. In Mohe, China’s northernmost city in Heilongjiang province, the cold front has lowered the temperature to -43 C, making daily patrols along part of the Heilongjiang River, which forms the border, “like walking against knives because of the howling wind”.
Some workers are braving the icy conditions to protect their livelihoods. Fishermen in Dalian, Liaoning province, have moored their vessels to prepare for expanding sea ice in coming days.
Agricultural authorities have warned farmers to add organic fertilizers to keep crops and vegetables from being damaged by frost and to reinforce plastic greenhouses. Nonetheless, farmers say heavy losses are inevitable and a farmer in central China’s Hunan province expects only ten percent of his crops to survive.
The cold front brought snowstorms across northern and southern areas on Friday, affecting 90 percent of the country, and expected to persist in eastern and central areas and affect parts of Shanghai and Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hubei and Hunan provinces.Highways in at least 12 provinces and municipalities were closed and flights disrupted amid blizzards and gales. Many parts of China are forecast to experience their lowest temperatures in decades during the weekend.
On a lighter note, it appears that snow does not bother pandas in Hubei province as per the below shot taken in Wuhan on January 21st.