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Snow Forecast to Keep Falling

Snowstorms will continue to sweep central and eastern China, meteorologists said yesterday.

Sun Jun, chief forecaster with the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), said the provinces of Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangxi will be hit by new rounds of snow and sleet between Thursday and Monday.

The snow, the worst in a decade in many places, has been falling across the country since January 12, leaving collapsed homes, power blackouts, closed highways and destroyed crops in its trail.

The CMA issued a red alert early yesterday for severe snowstorms in central and eastern parts of the country. The weather warnings fall into four levels according to their severity and the level of emergency, with red being the most severe.

"Such a long-lasting and intensified snowstorm comes as a result of climate change, which causes a high frequency of extreme weather," Sun said.

"One of the reasons for the heavy snow is the meeting of two air fronts, which have occurred and stayed over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze for a long time and brought heavy rain and snow," Sun said.

He said the situation this time is beyond the scope of usual measures to contain such adverse effects.

Yang Guiming, who is also a weather forecaster, told China Daily that the reason the snowfall has caused more trouble for central and eastern China than northern regions is due to more water being in the affected areas.

The weather has destroyed parts of crucial facilities in urban areas such as high-voltage power transportation lines and water pipelines.

"It is hard to take such extreme weather conditions into account in urban construction," Yang said.

(China Daily January 29, 2008)

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