Press Release of WMO and CMA
For use of the information media. Not an official record
The China Meteorological Administration Issues Summary on Cold Weather Snap
Beijing/Geneva, 5 February 2008 (WMO) – In response to the extreme cold weather pattern currently affecting China, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has produced the following summary regarding the widespread low temperatures, frozen rain, snow and ice.
The persistent low temperatures, freezing rain, snow and ice are mainly a result of three successive weather episodes that occurred during 10-16, 18-22 and 25-29 January. In these weather situations, freezing rain, heavy snow leading up to snowstorm were observed in many provinces in southern parts of China. Based on the meteorological satellite monitoring of snow-cover on 28 January, there was a total snow-cover area of 1.2821 million km2 encompassing 15 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) in southern China. Of this, over 90% of land areas were snow covered in Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei and Shaanxi, while the snow-coverarea over Guizhou, Hunan and Chongqing was 40-75% of their total land areas. On 29 January, snow depth was observed to be 30-45 cm in the central Anhui, southern Jiangsu and elsewhere.
Sustained low temperature, freezing rain, snow, ice and chilly weather have led to severe disasters in southern and southwestern parts of China, with especially serious damages to transport, energy supply, power transmission, agriculture and even people's daily livelihood.
Since occurrence of the three widespread cold-weather episodes characterized by low temperature, freezing rain, snow and ice starting from 10 January, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) and its local establishments have intensified their operational work on weather analysis, forecasting and early-warning to provide governments at all levels and sectors, like transport, electricity, civil affairs and agriculture, with decision-making oriented meteorological services. In addition, CMA has been disseminating meteorological disaster early-warning information and preventive advices for the general public in a timely manner through all mass media, e.g. television, radio, short messages via cell phones and electronic display screens, which have been fully recognized by the State Council, local governments, the concerned sectors as well as social communities. CMA has initiated the categories-III and -II emergency response plans successively to provide early-warnings on major severe meteorological disasters. It has also sent working teams to disaster-stricken areas to guide the local meteorological forecasts and services.
II. Preliminary Analysis of Causal Factors
2. Unusual Features of the General Circulation
Being rare yet persistent and stable, some unusual General Circulation features over the Eurasian continent are believed to have directly contributed to the widespread low temperatures, freezing rain and snowy weather over China. These features have already persisted for 20 days since mid-January, causing such rare sequence of severe weather events in both central and eastern China.
III.A Weather Tendency Forecast
It is predicted that during early February, snow and rain intensities will tend to weaken over southern and southwestern China. From 6-8 February, there will be no weather situations with significant rain- and snow in southern China, with a tendency for temperatures to recover and snow to gradually melt.
For further 3-day forecast information on China, go to: http://worldweather.wmo.int/001/m001.htm
For more information please contact:
LI Mingmei, Communications and Public Affairs contact point, International Cooperation Department, China Meteorological Administration, Tel.: +86 10 62172957, Fax.:+861062174797, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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