Beijing gets first dusting
Updated: 2010-12-30 08:23
By Wu Wencong (China Daily)
A light snow, arriving suddenly and leaving quickly, in less than three hours, took citizens in downtown Beijing by surprise on Wednesday.
Around noon, little flurries appeared in the downtown area. They mainly lasted for less than an hour and for only 10 minutes in some areas, such as around the North Fourth Ring Road.
"The snow mainly fell in Changping district, Mentougou district, and the western part of the city center, continuing for two to three hours," said Cui Yongyi, a reporter at the Beijing Meteorological Station.
"Experts are still discussing whether this should be considered the 'first snow'," Cui said.
There is no clear definition of "first snow", but the snow this time was so light and isolated, unlike the usual first snow in the city, that Cui said it is unlikely to be declared the first snow this winter.
Some citizens welcomed the flurries despite their short duration. Fadi Mohd, a student studying business English at the University of International Business and Economics, described the snow as "a lovely surprise".
Coming from Yemen, where it never snows, Mohd said he seizes every chance he gets to enjoy the snow in Beijing.
"I am more than happy to see it, though it was very light and only lasted for less than an hour," he said. "The snow is absolutely a gift, as I thought we won't have it before New Year's Day."
On the Internet, netizens posted pictures and video clips of the snow and discussed it with great interest. Some said even though they missed it, they felt excited simply hearing the news.
Cui said Beijing is likely to get more snow, heavier than today's, in the following week.
Another strong wintry blast hit the city today and it will drag the highest temperature down to below -4 C in the next two days with the lowest temperature falling below -11 C, Cui added.
"Even after the cold air leaves the capital, the highest temperature will hover around zero, and is unlikely to rise any higher," he said.
Beijing Meteorological Station forecast that strong winds will visit the capital during the last two days this year, accompanied by a marked drop of temperature.
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