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January 3, 2010

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Alert turns orange for cold wave as snow falls

A STRONG cold wave was set to sweep most of China and force temperatures down overnight and tomorrow as northern Chinese cities such as Beijing, Tianjin and others in Hebei Province shivered in the new year's first snowfall.

The Central Meteorological Station (CMS) issued an orange alert for the cold wave, warning that most areas in north, central and east China would suffer temperature drops ranging from 8 to 12 degrees Celsius.

In places such as central and western Inner Mongolia, northern Shaanxi and Shanxi as well as northwestern Hebei, temperatures could plunge from 14 to 16 degrees Celsius, according to the CMS.

There would also be gales during the cold weather and strong gusts over sea waters along northern China's coastline, the CMS said.

Northern Chinese cities including Beijing, Tianjin and others in Hebei Province witnessed the first snow of the new year yesterday morning.

At 6am, the snowfall measured less than 1 millimeter in Beijing city proper. The mountainous areas in the western suburbs, however, received 2.9 millimeters of snow, Beijing Meteorological Bureau said on its Website.

The orange alert, the second most critical level after red, means temperatures are expected to drop by 12 degrees Celsius within 24 hours, according to the CMS.


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