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Beijing, renowned for its harsh and biting winters, is facing an unexpected delay in the arrival of winter this year as warm weather continues to embrace the city in a manner not witnessed in recent history. The mercury has lingered above 20 degrees Celsius during the daytime, creating an atmosphere more akin to late summer than the anticipated wintry chill. This uncharacteristic warmth has caused a delay in the typical onset of the winter season by almost a week in the capital. According to a report by the state-run Beijing Daily, the Winter arrival was delayed by a week in Beijing and is expected to occur around November 6, a notable delay compared to previous years. Average temperatures are forecasted to plummet by more than 10 degrees Celsius as the city prepares for the anticipated winter arrival.
The Winter arrival delayed by a week in Beijing has caused atypical warm weather, which has yet to be isolated to Beijing alone. Several other regions across China have experienced record-breaking temperatures, surpassing 30 degrees Celsius. Cities in eastern and central provinces such as Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Henan have also grappled with unusually warm weather for this time of the year.
Statistics from more than 600 meteorological stations across China, as reported by the official Xinhua news agency, highlight an extraordinary trend, with temperatures surpassing historical highs for November. For instance, a meteorological station in Jinan City, located in eastern China, reported an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, exceeding the normal average by a substantial 12.6 degrees Celsius. This unexpected delay in the onset of winter weather coincides with the broader trend of unusually high temperatures across various regions in China.
Beijing experienced its second-warmest October in over 60 years, with temperatures averaging 3.4 degrees Celsius higher than the usual norm during the final 10 days of the month. Winter arrival delayed by a week in Beijing marked a record for that specific period since 1961.
The warmth accompanying this delay in winter’s arrival has been accompanied by persistent smog blanketing Beijing and its adjacent areas for several days. On Thursday, the China National Meteorological Centre forecasted heavy and dense fog, enveloping regions including Beijing and its surrounding cities for the fifth consecutive day, resulting in visibility dropping below 200 meters in parts of Hebei province.
Experts cited in state media attributed this unexpected and “rare” summer-like weather pattern to weaker-than-usual cold air currents. These conditions not only led to persistently hazy weather but also contributed to heavy air pollution veiling the city.
In the forthcoming days, a dramatic change in weather is expected across northern China. Northeastern cities like Shenyang, Changchun, and Harbin anticipate a sharp drop of more than 15 degrees Celsius in temperatures. Similarly, other major cities such as Beijing, Zhengzhou, Jinan, Xian, and Shijiazhuang are poised to experience a sudden decline of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, finally indicating the imminent arrival of the long-awaited winter season.
This unprecedented delay in winter’s onset, characterized by remarkably warm temperatures, has not only defied historical norms but also raised concerns about the implications of such irregular weather patterns on the region and its residents.