China Meteorological Administration (CMA) warned Thursday of a cold blast to sweep across the country from northwestern to southeastern China due to a La Nina weather event.
Xue Jianjun, deputy director of CMA, said: "The cold air will bring a plunge in temperature nationwide compared with mid-October. The cold wave came from west Siberia which was then enhanced by cold air from the North Pole."
"Heavy snow or rain will take over the Northeast and North China and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and farmers there should store corns outdoors ahead of the precipitation," Jianjun said.
CMA warned last month that a La Nina weather pattern would bring colder weather to the country. The timing of the cooler air is problematic amid an energy crisis that has resulted in nationwide power rationings.
Beijing understood ahead of time La Nina would bring colder weather. It ordered the country's top state-owned energy companies to secure coal supplies for this winter at all costs in September.
State-run news outlet Xinhua News Agency said, "the possibility of phased extreme and strong cooling events is high."
Bloomberg's mean temperature forecast for China shows a deep dive in temps this week. Temps will remain well under a 30-year average through mid-December.
For some context, a 2008 La Nina event unleashed a devastating blow of snow and freezing weather that caused deaths and damage to crops, affecting 20 provinces.
So it now makes sense why the Ministry of Commerce told households Monday to stock up on food in case of emergencies, mainly because it expects food shortages.
China could be in for a world of trouble as colder weather will continue to strain energy and food supplies, opening up the chance for a winter of discontent among its citizens.
On the bright side, La Nina could be good news for Beijing to host the Winter Olympics in February.