Beijing residents basking in unseasonal warm weather will find themselves reaching for their woolly hats and heavy coats on Sunday with temperatures set to plummet.
Meteorologists have been left scratching their heads as the capital enjoyed temperatures 10 degrees higher than the average for this time of year.
The warm weather, which began last Thursday, caught civic leaders off guard with the city's heating system being turned on in anticipation of the cold currents.
This left many people sweltering in their homes and offices.
"Current temperatures in Beijing are 5 to 7 degrees higher than they were during the same period last year," said Zhang Mingying, from the Beijing Meteorological Observatory.
And the temperature is nearly 10 degrees higher than the average at this time in previous years, he added.
The temperature Tuesday topped 16 degrees and will remain at such a high level until Sunday, according to Zhang.
But cold air is forming in Siberia and will come and cool the capital city down, he said. Rain and sleet remain a possibility.
(China Daily November 21, 2001)