On Tuesday evening sleet resulting from both natural and
artificially-induced rainfall temporarily relieved a drought that
has lasted for two months in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, said the local
meteorological observatory on Wednesday.
Sleet fell from 8:00 PM Tuesday to 8:00 AM Wednesday across the
whole province and 105 artificial rainfall operations were
conducted, said the local meteorological observatory.
The record of rainfall was five to 13 mm in north Shaanxi, one
to five mm in central parts of the province and three to 10 mm in
The sleet helped slightly with irrigation but central Shaanxi,
especially Weinan City, is still gripped by the drought which has
left 300,000 people short of drinking water and affected thousands
of hectares of cropland over the past two months, said local
The rainfall in January in central Shaanxi was between 50-90
percent below average and temperatures were one to two degrees
centigrade higher, according to the Shaanxi Provincial Flood
Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
Only two to six mm of rain fell in January in Baoji City and no
rainfall was reported in Weinan City, the headquarters said.
Sporadic drizzle fell in Xianyang and Xi'an.
Water shortages have affected over 300,000 rural residents and
60,000 livestock in the three cities of Tongchuan, Xianyang and
Weinan in central Shaanxi.
Xi'an, Weinan, Tongchuan and Baoji have identified 31 million
yuan (US$3.9 million) for drought relief. The provincial water
resources department will also allocate special funds to combat the
Six artificial rainfall teams were sent to drought-affected
cities in Shaanxi. Local water resources authorities organized
1,840 vehicles to carry drinking water to those affected. Water
storage equipment was used to irrigate crops.
The drought could worsen as February temperatures are expected
to be higher than the same period in previous years and little
rainfall is forecast, local meteorologists said.
The latest report from China's State Meteorological Bureau
indicates that drought has extended to more areas in northeast,
east, northwest and southwest China in the past month.
(Xinhua News Agency February 8, 2007)