Beijing Hit by Early Snows

Posted November 4th, 2012 at 5:50 am (UTC-5)
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Beijing has issued its second-highest blizzard alert, after the Chinese capital was hit by an unusually early snowstorm.

China's National Meteorological Center issued an orange alert Sunday, predicting that heavy snow will also hit central and eastern parts of Inner Mongolia and in the northern provinces surrounding Beijing through Tuesday.

The official Xinhua news agency said that by Sunday morning, Beijing had received an average daily precipitation of over 58 millimeters, the highest daily total for any cold season since 1951.

Xinhua said the west of Beijing has received mainly blizzards, while the city's eastern urban areas have been lashed with freezing rain and snow.

To fight the strong cold spell, Beijing has turned on the city's public heating ahead of the official November 15 start date.

The ruling Communist Party begins its 18th congress in Beijing on Thursday. The major political event will appoint new leadership for the next decade.