Beijing experienced hazy weather on Wednesday, and forecasters suggested a potential exacerbation of conditions in other parts of north China. However, they anticipate that the arrival of cold air from the northwest will help disperse the smog.
The persistent haze in Beijing over several days was attributed by experts to poor atmospheric diffusion, primarily due to unseasonably weak cold air currents from the north.
The China Meteorological Administration reported visibility dropping to less than 500 meters in most parts of Beijing. Concerns about air quality prompted a 24-year-old tourist named Gao to note, “I didn’t expect the smog to be this severe.
“I have nearly used up the masks I brought.”
In certain areas, heavy winter fog compounded the murky conditions, reducing visibility to less than 50 meters in parts of Hebei province and Tianjin city.
The environmental ministry
The environmental ministry, following an agency meeting, indicated expectations of moderate to heavy air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area and nearby cities until Thursday, foreseeing intermittent severe conditions.
The ministry highlighted the persistence of pollution in the southern areas while expecting improvements in the north during the first half of this month.
An 82-year-old Beijing resident named Liu reflected on the current situation, stating, “The overall environment has been improving in recent years, but the return of smog in the past few days is concerning. The exact cause is not clear.”
Regions observed unusual temperatures akin to early summer, with some areas recording temperatures 10 degrees Celsius above normal. Forecasters anticipate these conditions to persist until Thursday, potentially setting records in significant cities such as Jinan, Zhengzhou, and Shijiazhuang.
According to local media, Beijing‘s observatory noted an average temperature for the last ten days of October that was 3.4 degrees Celsius higher than the norm, marking a record for the same period since 1961. Additionally, the month’s average temperature was the second-highest in 62 years, following the record set in 2006.
Meteorologists anticipate a weather shift from Thursday night, expecting cold air to lower temperatures, potentially reaching new lows.