The rainy weather that hit China Sunday has put the Yangtze River valley at risk of flooding, a senior weather expert has warned.
Over the next few days, eastern and northern parts of China will still see large amounts of rainfall, with storms in part of those areas, said the Central Meteorological Observatory.
The rainfall will help relieve the spring drought in northern and northwestern provinces and offer local farmers good opportunities for spring seeding, said the observatory.
But Sunday's storms in part of those areas also adversely affected the reaping of wheat and even caused disasters such as turbulent mountain torrents and blocked transport in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and North China's Shanxi Province, according to a China Central Television report yesterday.
Chen Tingliang, a senior engineer at Beijing Meteorological Observatory, yesterday also warned of the potential risks of flooding in the "troublesome" Yangtze River valley. Wuhan - the capital of Central China's Hubei Province and a city in the middle reaches of the river - yesterday saw its third-heaviest showers in half a century with 69 millimetres of rainfall in one hour.
According to Chen, provinces in the middle and lower reaches of the river are still in their annual rainy season.
But Chen also noted that the latest rainfall along the Yangtze River valley, which may last several days, mostly consisted of temporary thunder showers and the pressure of flooding was no greater than during the weeks of continuous rainfall there last month.
The weekend's rain also put a dampener on the hot, sunny days experienced in northern China recently.
In Beijing, rainfall of 12 millimetres lowered the temperature by 10 degrees centigrade and there were winds of force 3 to 4. It was the capital's second rainfall this year and the first of summer.
Chen said the capital's temperature will soon climb to over 30 degrees centigrade again as the rainfall was set to end last night and strong winds pass.
Like most of northern China, Beijing had been suffering from a severe drought since the start of spring. The area has been troubled by similar spring droughts for years.
(China Daily June 10, 2002)