Snow in China. This time it was not artificially induced

Śnieg w Chinach

Snow in China is a topic that many meteorological experts have been pondering for years. In the last decade, the main problem has been that too little of it is available. This resulted in the implementation of measures to artificially induce precipitation. Meanwhile, earlier this month, violent snowstorms and a drastic drop in air temperature in the northeastern part of the country caused the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) to declare a state of emergency in the region.

Snow in China has paralyzed a city of five million people

This year, the snow took residents of northeastern China by surprise. A sudden cooling going hand in hand with heavy rainfall occurred last Sunday, i.e. November 5. Usually in this part of the world, winter does not begin until the end of this month or early December. In addition, air temperature drops are generally not so drastic.

The Chinese government, due to worrying meteorological forecasts, issued an official warning through public media even before the snow blizzard appeared. In areas affected by the cold front, temperatures dropped to at least -6°C. Among others, the five million residents of the city of Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, have found themselves in a very difficult situation. Most educational institutions there have suspended classes. Public transportation has been paralyzed. More than 400 intrastate and international flights were canceled, and land traffic was prevented by snow drifts. The red alert, indicating the highest threat on a four-step scale, was in effect as of Sunday evening for another 24 hours. The threat is less, but the severe weather continues.

Weather anomalies covered the northeastern part of the country

Dangerous weather conditions do not only affect Heilongjiang province. A cold front, heavy snowfall and strong winds also covered Inner Mongolia and Jilin and Liaoning provinces. At some points, temperatures of 16°C below zero were recorded in the areas mentioned. The unexpected snowstorms claimed the lives of at least eight people, despite the fact that official alerts about the weather collapse were also sent out in the area.

What’s more, snow in China and premature cooling have forced authorities to decide to start the heating season earlier. Usually in the northeastern region of the country, it begins in the second half of November. This year, due to extreme weather conditions, it has been going on for several days. The frosts are still lingering. The air temperature during the day does not exceed 5°C below zero, while at night it drops as low as -20°C.

China is severely affected by global warming

Premature snow in China and sudden cooling are not the only weather anomalies faced by residents of this global economic powerhouse in recent times. In July this year, thermometers in the Xinjiang region indicated record high temperatures, exceeding 52°C. In contrast, just a month ago, on October 3, Anhui Province recorded nearly 41°C. Never before have such high temperatures been observed during this period in this part of the world.

What’s more, it’s a record high nationwide. In addition, this year the average temperature in October in the Middle Kingdom was the highest in decades. Given these facts, the intense and early snow in China is a huge surprise. There is also the fact that last year China faced droughts on a scale not seen in decades.

Artificial rain and snow in China becoming the norm

Controlling weather conditions is a topic that people have been interested in for centuries. We are not limited to shamanic methods based on traditional songs and dances. The first way to artificially induce precipitation was developed in 1946. Then it was discovered that dry ice sprayed at high altitude falls to Earth in the form of rain. Today, a number of techniques are known to control the weather over larger and larger areas and on an ever-increasing scale.

Great emphasis is being placed on intensive development in this direction by the Chinese authorities. Precise weather modification is intended to serve, among other things, to protect nature, revitalize rural areas, improve air quality and reduce losses from atmospheric anomalies. Artificial snow in China has been used for more than a dozen years to combat the effects of drought, a growing problem in the country.

You can read more about the weather anomalies that occurred this year in the article:“Weather anomalies – snow in South Africa 2023“.

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