China’s capital got off to a slow start in the new year, with the first snowstorm of 2010 and seriously subfreezing temperatures bringing the city to a halt after the long holiday weekend.
A day after Beijing experienced its biggest snowfall in 60 years, a similarly historic cold front swept into the city. Temperatures were forecast to drop to as low as -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) Monday and schools remained closed, giving students an extra bit of winter holiday. Beijing has mobilized a sizable army of 300,000 workers to clear the snow, China Daily reports, though it appeared that few cars were willing to brave the city's icy streets Monday.
Transportation in northern China faced disruptions as well, with road closures and airports shut down. At Hong Kong’s Chep Lap Kok airport Sunday, this reporter was among the thousands of Beijing-bound passengers waiting for bi-hourly updates on the grim situation at the capital’s airport, where only one of three runways was operational and more than 90% of flights were cancelled or delayed, according to China Daily.
The current conditions make the big storms of November seem like a dress rehearsal, and this time around, no one has mentioned government-sanctioned weather manipulation.
- ▼ 2010 (3)
- ► 2009 (14)