A massive cold blast is sweeping across most parts of China, unleashing snow, mixed precipitation, and dangerous wind. China's energy crisis eased last month but could soon be ignited again by wicked winter weather.
According to the website weather.com.cn, which the China Meteorological Administration runs, more than 100 weather alerts are issued for the country as record-breaking cold temperatures spread further and further south.
The latest forecast shows a cold air mass has descended on the county.
By Sunday morning, a cold wave stretched from the west of Hebei province to the west of Henan province, causing temperature drops of between 4 C and 8 C in Shanxi province and Hebei, the center said. The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and parts of Gansu province also experienced temperature slumps of more than 10 C.
On Monday, the cold air is expected to rapidly descend southward and affect most of the central and eastern parts of China, the center forecast.
By Tuesday, the Bohai, Yellow, and East China seas will face strong winds of up to about 100 kilometers per hour, it said.
The winds are expected to carry floating sand and dust to northern areas, including Beijing.
Snow was forecast to hit the northeast from Sunday to Wednesday, with blizzards expected in Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, the center said.
New snow accumulation over the period is expected to reach up to 40 centimeters in Heilongjiang, adding to snow from last week.
On Sunday, the Heilongjiang provincial government announced a Level II warning for weather disaster emergency response, the second-highest in a four-tier warning system.
Fang Chong, the chief forecaster of the Central Meteorological Observatory, said a cold air mass is pouring into China from Siberia, Russia
"This bout of cold wave will sweep across China faster than the previous one in early November because airflow is stronger under the current weather conditions," Chong said. "The weather system is more complicated than before, with blizzards, rain, sand, and dust finding their paths in North and South China."
The world's No 2 economy suffers from a severe energy crunch as coal and natural gas are in short supply. The government spent the last month ramping up the production of energy supplies in anticipation of cold weather. It also intervened in energy markets to suppress prices for power plants.
Unseasonably cold weather could spark the next round of coal shortages that would have severe knock-on effects throughout supply chains.
Even though China's energy crisis has been eased, the government must continue stockpiling energy supplies to avoid electricity shortages amid rising demand.
A freezing winter could spell disaster for China's economy if it doesn't have enough energy supplies.