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Favorable weather forecast for opening ceremony
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The advanced technologies deployed to reduce rainfall during Friday's Olympic opening ceremony may not be needed after all, as forecasters have predicted a rainless day.

"The latest analyses suggest a cloudy sky during the opening ceremony at the National Stadium and temperatures ranging between 25 C and 30 C," China Meteorological Administration (CMA) spokesperson Yu Xinwen told a press conference at the Beijing International Media Center yesterday.

Beijing might experience scattered showers or thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon but nothing that would affect the show, Yu said.

"The weather during the opening ceremony will be favorable."

Games organizers previously said there was a 41 percent chance of rain on the opening day. A sudden downpour cut short the fireworks display at the opening ceremony's first outdoors rehearsal on July 30.

But Yu said the weather in Beijing might still undergo complicated changes in the next few days, so they will closely monitor it and provide timely forecast updates.

Zhang Heping, director of the opening and closing ceremonies department of BOCOG, also told the MPC press conference yesterday light rains would not affect the show, but some programs may be cut for safety reasons in the case of medium rainfall.

Forecasters had also predicted a cloudy day today and that weather would not affect flights.

Today will be an extremely busy day for Beijing Capital International Airport, where at least 200 special and chartered flights will land, airport figures showed.

"Severe convective weather is the No 1 enemy of flights, but there won't be such weather tomorrow," CMA's chief forecaster Qiao Lin said, adding forecasts suggested the city would be spared of extreme weather in the coming week.

A medium rainfall this weekend would provide reprieve from hot and humid weather, Beijing meteorological bureau spokeswoman Wang Jianjie said.

These showers would be followed by a few sunny days in which humidity levels would be lower than now, she added.

Forecasters said they would intensify prediction efforts to provide accurate reports every three hours, or perhaps even every hour, in both Chinese and English.

(China Daily August 7, 2008)

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