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Annoyed over Poor Beijing Weather Forecasts
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What happened to the weather? The weatherman got it wrong.

Forecasters predicted warmer weather in Beijing this week, instead there was cold snap.


Many people had shelved their warm clothes, after forecasts from Beijing Meteorological Station predicted Tuesday's top temperature would be 12 C. Instead, the mercury barely nudged 6.2 C.



Inaccurate forecasts had continued for three consecutive days from Sunday. The forecast high for both Sunday and Monday was 9 C but it was actually 5 C and 3.8 C respectively.


Zhang Jing, an office employee, complained that she caught a cold because she put too much trust in the forecasts.


"I put away my woolly underclothes after hearing the weather forecast on Tuesday and I went back home after work with a runny nose," Zhang said.


Beijing has long experienced extreme variance in early spring, and the weahter has often proved problematic to forecast, officials with Beijing Meteorological Station said on Wednesday, responding to the mounting complaints from local residents.


Temperature forecasts were often done on the basis of statistics. Forecasters need to compile the data and make their own judgment.


"Temperature forecasting is a complicated reasoning and thinking procedure," Zhang Mingliang, a senior meteorologist with the station, said.


"Any error in any part of the procedure can lead to inaccurate forecast."


Overcast weather has dominated Beijing for about a week so far, keeping the temperature down. Drifting of the clouds, which was hard to predict, can also affect the temperature, meteorologists said.


While many Beijingers may have felt the cold this early in spring, experts said the daily average temperature was comparable to previous years.


The cloudy weather is expected to last at least until this weekend and people should try and keep warm.


(China Daily March 23, 2007)

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