Three weeks into the national battle against snow havoc,
meteorological chief Zheng Guoguang admitted on Monday that the
constant snows and freezing rains were "beyond our expectations".
"We didn't expect the snowy weather would last so long. We
didn't fully estimate another two heavy snowfalls would follow
between Jan. 25 and Feb. 2 after severe blizzards hit the central
and southern regions from Jan. 10 to Jan. 22," Zheng, chief of the
China Meteorological Administration (CMA), said at a press
"Snow and frost do occur in the south every year but only last
for two or three days. But this year saw four continuous snowfalls,
each lasted for four or five days, which is rare.
"What is worse, the blizzards fell during Chunyun, an annual
rush when tens of millions struggle to reach home for the Lunar New
Year," he said. The Spring Festival this year falls on Feb. 7.
"Because it was beyond our expectation we were not prepared,"
said Zheng, citing inadequate equipment for removing ice in the
"We did forecast every blizzard, but only with three or five
days' warning. With the current technology, we cannot predict
weather beyond a week.
"Thanks to the forecast of the other two snowfalls, the
government made good arrangements to combat the snow," he said.
The chief said the government was working out an emergency
mechanism for the south in case of such severe weather. But he
declined to reveal the amount of money budgeted for the
On Tuesday, light snow and sleet is forecast to fall on some
parts of the country's northwest and in areas south down as far as
the Yangtze River, according to CMA. Icy rain is forecast for some
mountainous areas of Guizhou.
(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)