In a historic turn of events, Beijing breaks 70 years of cold weather record, facing unprecedented low temperatures and heavy snowfall. The capital city experienced a significant break on Sunday afternoon when the Nanjiao weather station reported temperatures rising above zero degrees Celsius, providing a much-needed respite from the relentless cold wave.
According to Beijing Daily, the weather observatory in Beijing recorded over 300 hours of sub-zero temperatures starting from December 11. This prolonged period of frigid weather sets a new record for the longest cold wave in the month since official data collection commenced back in 1951, marking a significant event where Beijing breaks 70 years of cold weather record.
The cold spell brought more than just plummeting temperatures. Beijing endured nine consecutive days with mercury levels falling below minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit), a rare occurrence in the city’s climatic history.
But the impact of this extreme weather extends beyond the capital. Neighboring regions, particularly in the central Chinese province of Henan, southwest of Beijing, face a severe winter heating supply crisis. In Jiaozuo, a city in Henan, thermal power suppliers are struggling to meet the soaring demand for heat, leading to the suspension of heating services in most business establishments. Local media reports indicate that essential service providers like hospitals and senior centres will be prioritized. However, some residential areas might still experience disruptions during maintenance activities.
The crisis has also hit other cities in Henan. Puyang and Pingdingshan have taken drastic measures by suspending heat supply to government departments and administrative institutions, focusing instead on residential areas to cope with the extreme cold.
The recent weather phenomenon in Beijing, marked by its record-breaking cold wave, underscores the profound challenges that severe climate conditions can pose. For the first time in over 70 years, Beijing experienced over 300 hours of sub-zero temperatures, an event that not only set a historical precedent but also brought into sharp focus the urgency of adapting to extreme weather patterns. This extended period of freezing temperatures, which began on December 11, has put considerable strain on the region’s infrastructure and crisis management systems.
This situation extends beyond Beijing, affecting neighbouring areas in Henan province, where the impact of this intense cold wave has led to a critical winter heating supply crisis. Cities like Jiaozuo face immense pressure to ensure continuous heat supply, leading to the suspension of heating in businesses while prioritizing essential services like hospitals. Other cities, including Puyang and Pingdingshan, have had to suspend heating in government departments to prioritize residential areas.
The challenges presented by this unprecedented cold spell in Beijing and surrounding regions are a stark reminder of the increasing volatility of global weather patterns. It highlights the necessity for robust, adaptable infrastructure and effective crisis management strategies to mitigate the impacts of such extreme climate events. As these occurrences become more frequent, the response and preparedness of cities and regions to handle them will be pivotal in safeguarding communities and maintaining essential services during times of crisis.