The current La Nina weather phenomenon may just be a partial
cause of South China's freeze-up at the start of 2008, said the
United Nations World Meteorological Agency (WMO) Monday.
The latest La Nina pattern, which began in the third quarter of
2007, has picked up strength in the past three months, with sea
surface temperatures now about 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius colder than
average over large parts of the eastern and central equatorial
Pacific Ocean, said the latest report issued by the WMO.
Presenting the Geneva-based body's report, Rupa Kumar Killi, a
WMO climate expert, said the recent month-long snow and ice-storms
in China's central, southern and eastern regions could be connected
with the La Nina phenomenon, the climatic opposite of El Nino.
A rescuer carries an 80-year-old woman
out of Jinlian village in Longnan county, East China's Jiangxi
Province, Feb. 3, 2008. After being trapped for days in frozen
weather and without electricity and water supply, 1,761 people in
the village were rescued successfully on Sunday. (Xinhua
However, he said China's freeze-up was a result of several
causes combined and was partly caused by a cold surge from the
north and west.
He also said the present La Nina cycle may last at least until
mid-2008 and it is also possible, if less likely, that the cycle
could stretch into the third quarter.
La Nina is a large pool of unusually cold water in the
equatorial Pacific that develops every few years and influences
global weather. It is the climatic opposite of El Nino, a warming
of the Pacific, and both have been associated with extreme weather
around the globe.
Since January 10, snow, sleet and low temperatures have swept
China's southern regions, a rare occurrence for the area.
(Xinhua News Agency February 12, 2008)