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China raises warning level amid worst cold in decades

Updated: Jan 23,2016 4:28 PM     Xinhua

China’s national observatory raised the weather warning level from yellow to orange on the morning of Jan 23 as much of the country braced for the worst cold in 30 years.

According to the National Meteorological Center (NMC), temperatures dropped 6 to 10 degrees Celsius on Jan 23 in parts of northwest China, north China and the Huanghuai area.

China has a four-tier warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

In the worst-affected areas such as eastern Hebei province, northern Shandong province and eastern Qinghai province, the cold front brought down temperatures by 11 to 16 degrees Celsius, the NMC said.

In Beijing, temperatures dropped to under minus 10 degrees Celsius on Jan 22 and will hit a 30-year low of minus 16 degrees Celsius from Jan 23 through Jan 24, the Beijing meteorological station said.

At 7:00 am Beijing Time on Jan 23, all regions north of the Yangtze River, except eastern Sichuan province and Chongqing, saw temperatures drop to below zero degrees Celsius, according to the NMC.

The NMC also expected temperatures in South China and Southeast China to drop by 6 to 10 degrees Celsius from Jan 22 to Jan 25.

Temperatures in central and eastern regions of China were 6 to 8 degrees Celsius lower than the average historical level.

Temperatures in parts of Anhui, Zhejiang, Fujian and Guangdong are forecast to approach or even drop below the lowest levels on record, it said.

The NMC issued a yellow alert for the cold weather on Jan 21.