China upgrades snowstorm warning to 2nd highest, cold wave alert on highest level

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China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC) has upgraded its snowstorm warning to Orange – the second highest level on Thursday, January 25, 2018, as heavy snow continues affecting China’s central and eastern regions. A Blue alert for cold wave remains in effect.

NMC first issued a Yellow snowstorm warning on January 24, the second on their four-tier weather warning system, expecting 5 to 12 cm (1.9 – 3.9 inches) of snow in parts of Anhui, Jiangsu, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi and Zhejiang.

A Blue alert for cold wave (the highest) is in effect. NMC advised residents to stay indoors and urged local authorities to take precautions on roads, railways, electricity and telecommunications.

Minimum temperatures – January 26, 2018. Credit: NMC

Blizzards in some areas are expected to last more than three days, with new snow falling up to 20 cm (7.8 inches), NMC said.

Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA), reported today that cold weather, snow and freezing rain affected Hubei and Chongqing, blocking traffic and damaging homes.

According to a report by Hubei Provincial Department of Civil Affairs, landslides occurred in Xueyiding Village, Maotian Township, Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture. At least one person has been killed.

As of 09:00 local time today, severe weather has affected 2 provinces, 3 counties and a total of 29 000 people. It damaged or destroyed nearly 100 homes and affected 1 300 hectares (3 212 acres) of crops, making a direct economic loss of 16 million yuan (US $2.5 million). 

Two rounds of very heavy snowfall that hit China’s eastern and central regions at the start of the year killed at least 21 people, destroyed 700 homes and damaged more than 2 800, as of January 8, 2018.

In total, 2.3 million people were affected, 21 died, 3 700 were evacuated and relocated and 14 000 needed emergency life assistance, MCA said. Severe weather affected 233 100 ha (576 000 acres) of crops, of which it destroyed 81 000 ha (200 155 acres).

Featured image: Snow scenery near Xujiaping Township of Lueyang County, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. Image copyright: Xinhua/Liu Xinhua

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