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Beijing sees first rain in four months, but drought continues

BEIJING welcomed its first rain in 110 days this morning, but experts say it was too little to end the city's lingering drought.

Duan Li, chief weatherwoman with the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, said occasional drizzle, with precipitation below than 3 millimeter, fell in southwestern areas in the city.

The rain would affect the whole urban area later in the afternoon, with further drizzle or sleet at night, she said.

"The rain is too little to effectively dispel the lingering drought, but people can feel the air is getting humid," said Duan.

The capital is enduring its longest drought in 38 years, according to bureau records. It has not seen rain since October 24.

The bureau said no rain was forecast for at least the next 10 days.

The weather department is prepared to artificially enhance the precipitation.

Zhang Qiang, deputy director of the Beijing Weather Modification Command Center, said 25 weather rocket launch bases in Beijing had been prepared for cloud seeding, which, theoretically, could increase the rain by 10 percent.


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