A bad time to be in Beijing

I wanted to go there for New Year’s but now I think I made the right choice.

China, already enduring its coldest winter in 20 years, is preparing for a cold snap that will see temperatures drop by as much as 16 degrees Centigrade (29 degrees Fahrenheit).

Northern China, where temperatures are already as low as minus 15-20 degrees Celsius, will feel the strongest effects of the cold front, which is sweeping in from Mongolia and western Siberia, the China Daily reported.

In the capital of Beijing, which enjoyed a relatively warm start to the New Year with temperatures just above freezing, the thermometer is expected to plunge 10 degrees on Monday night, according to the paper.

The Beijing News advised the city’s residents to return home from New Year holidays early on Monday to avoid expected overnight snowfalls.

Even in the warmer southern regions, the temperatures are expected to drop sharply.

“Upon the heels of the cold front … more snowfall can be expected in the north with rain or snow flurries possible in the south,” the paper quoted Yang Guiming, a senior official with the Central Meteorological Office, as saying.

The weather was probably my No. 1. difficulty in Beijing; I hate to be cold, and even Taipei’s relatively mild winter has caused me a few days of anguish. I’ll see you all in the spring. (Late spring, like May or June.)

The Discussion: 11 Comments

Blah! That’s not cold! It’s been dipping down to -5 C around here for a couple of weeks and that’s pretty mild, but now that January is here I’m sure we can expect to start chilling down to the usual -24 C.

If you want to try cold, go to Chengdu or some of the other Southern Cities in China were it gets down to around -1 C and it stays that way for several months without indoor heat.

I hated the winter in Chengdu. It was definitely one of the most miserabe times in my life. When I move back to China in a couple of years, it will be to an area that has indoor heating. Those cold showers in the winter can really get to you after awhile.

January 2, 2006 @ 9:10 am | Comment

Winter in Beijing can be brutal, but we’ve had almost a month of crisp weather in the 40’s which did end yesterday with biting chill. I was raised on the East Coast USA and enjoyed winter, but spent over a decade in So. California before we moved to China. So the Beijing winter is kinda nostalgic for me, esp the snow. When we lived in Xiamen, much closer to where you are now, winter was worse–not as cold, but damp and clammy and, of course, no heat. We went to a spectacular New Years Eve concert one year and had to wear our coats in the concert hall.

The best time in Beijing is Autumn. Summer is long and hot, winter is really cold and spring is very windy, often with sand in the wind.

I’d imagine that it gets pretty hot and humid in Taipei, doesn’t it?

Happy New Year and your Beijing friends will be overjoyed to see you whenever you choose to come.

January 2, 2006 @ 5:13 pm | Comment

I can out-blah Gordon! In Siberia they don’t even call it “cold” until it reaches -20 c.

Try -35 with driving winds. Napoleon should have thought about that…. ๐Ÿ™‚

January 2, 2006 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

I’m in Beijing right now, and I have to say, don’t believe the hype. If anything, it’s been mild and quite lovely!!!

Happy New Year!!!

P.s. When we don’t want to go somewhere, we’ll listen to the worst things from the worst people, eh?

January 2, 2006 @ 7:01 pm | Comment

Dang, I had heard some very bad descriptions of Beijing’s weather from friends of mine some weeks ago. I’m glad it’s been warmer recently, but I know it’s also been very, very cold – Taiwan got some blasts of freezing air from China recently. Still, nothing can keep me away, and I’m ordering tickets now for my next visit.

Ellen, Taiwan’s winter is erratic. It can be warm, even hot, one day and bitter cold and wet the next. We had two weeks of misery a few weeks ago, but now it’s beautiful outside.

After living in Phoenix for 15 years, hot weather doesn’t bother me. I will always prefer hot weather, humidity and all, over the cold. I’ll take Singapore’s summer over Beijing’s (or New York’s) winter anytime.

January 2, 2006 @ 7:06 pm | Comment


Yeah, I admit that if you’re used to Phoenix weather, Beijing weather might seem cold, however, being from the northern part of North America and a friendly neighbour of all, I have to say, Beijing winters are a cute version of what a real winter is meant to be.

It did snow for 8 minutes on Saturday though. Nice, big flakes that were gone 10 minutes later…

If you ski Richard, you might check out ShiJingLong or HuaiBei ski resorts, or if you’re up for a week-end of skiing, consider WanLong near ZhangJiaKou in Hebei for some good fun!!!

Cheers and I hope you have a pleasant time in Beijing, Bud!!!

To be safe (about the cold), dress in layers, that’s the trick!

January 2, 2006 @ 9:43 pm | Comment

If you ski Richard, you might check out ShiJingLong or HuaiBei ski resorts

I’d rather die. I HATE to be cold – why would I ever PAY to stand in the snow and freeze to death??

January 2, 2006 @ 9:52 pm | Comment

Sewage floods Beijing subway site as road collapses
BEIJING: A section of highway running past Beijing’s central business district caved in early today, rupturing a sewage pipe and flooding a construction site for the subway the city is scrambling to build for the 2008 Olympics.

There were not thought to have been any casualties, a spokeswoman for the Beijing Track Transportation Construction Management Co said.

And it is too early to conclude that the cave-in was caused by the subway construction, which is under way all along Beijing’s third ring road where the accident happened, the spokeswoman said.

But the collapse caused sewage to flood one of the subway construction sites, Xinhua said.

now it sucks in beijing. i work right near there, its gonna stink something awful this week. glad i work in a building. those poor, poor devils who are digging down there.

January 2, 2006 @ 11:46 pm | Comment

Was a little chilly here in Berlin too. Down to -15 one night. The Siberian winds you know.

BTW why are there German google adds in an English language blog? Strange.

January 3, 2006 @ 4:46 am | Comment

It might be cold in Beijing, but the weather in Shanghai today could only be described in one word: “shit-a-licious.” It’s raining, and a little cold, but obviously not cold enough for people in your company to stop opening the windows for some “fresh air” (as if that existed in this city), meaning that your feet get wet on the way to work and then freeze for the rest of the day in a non-insulated room with the windows open.

January 3, 2006 @ 8:23 pm | Comment

Whoever made the “Beijing-will-be-cold” prediction is on the button today. The windchill factor plays a large role in it, though!!!

That Shanghai situation certainly sucks, eh?

January 3, 2006 @ 10:31 pm | Comment

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