Published: 16:57, December 28, 2020 | Updated: 06:57, June 5, 2023
Orange warning issued as cold wave sweeps across China
By Li Hongyang

This aerial photo taken on Dec 27, 2020 shows the snow-covered Taklimakan Desert in Yopurga county in Kashgar, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. (GAO HAN / XINHUA)

China is set to encounter a freezing cold front as a cold air mass is sweeping across the country from north to south, the National Meteorological Center warned on Monday.

The center issued an orange cold wave warning on Monday, the highest in the three-tier ranking, followed by yellow and blue. The center issued its last orange warning in 2016.

This round of the cold wave will be tougher than the same period in normal years as temperatures will drop below zero, even in the provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi, the most southern places that subzero temperatures will have reached this winter ...

Sun Jun, Chief forecaster, National Meteorological Center, China

Northeast China, and North China's Inner Mongolia and Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions have experienced sharp temperature drops since Sunday.

ALSO READ: China issues yellow alert for cold wave

The temperature in the Greater Hinggan Mountains of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province fell to -44.5 C on Sunday, the lowest since winter began, the region's meteorological service said. News pictures by China News Service showed white smog caused by condensation shrouded the region and reduced visibility.

Sun Jun, the center's chief forecaster, said the cold air from high in the Mongolian Plateau that moved eastward and southward caused the freeze in the north and will expand its influence nationwide in the next three days.

Beginning Monday, temperatures will drop by 10 to 14 degrees C in North China, and starting from Tuesday, Central, East and South China are expected to experience a roller-coaster dive in temperatures, down by as much as 16 degrees C. There will be strong wind at the speed between 20 and 88 kilometers per hour, the center said.

READ MORE: Snowstorms ground flights, shut highways in northeast China

"This round of the cold wave will be tougher than the same period in normal years as temperatures will drop below zero, even in the provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi, the most southern places that subzero temperatures will have reached this winter. Sleet will hit Guizhou and Yunnan provinces but won't last long," he said.

Heavy snow with precipitation of 5 to 9 millimeters will fall in North and Northwest China and in regions along the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers on Tuesday.

The center warned that people should wrap up warmly and beware of the impact that could be inflicted on transportation.