Cold and dry wind filled the skies in many parts of north, northeast and northwest China Tuesday with Siberian dust.
The wind clouded the skies and filled them with dust, cutting visibility to less than 500 meters in a few areas, meteorological officials said.
"It was the seventh disaster of its kind China has experienced so far this year and the strongest one recorded this spring," He Lifu, a weatherman for the Central Meteorological Observation Station, told China Daily.
Transportation, particularly airplane takeoffs and landings as well as traffic on expressways, might be affected during a strong sandstorm, He warned.
Around 3 pm Tuesday, drifting and flowing sand was observed in the mid-west parts of Gansu and Inner Mongolia, southern parts of Hebei and western Liaoning provinces.
Today flowing or drifting sand were likely to sweep more areas in Northwest China's Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hebei provinces as well as Beijing and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region today with the cold wind likely to blow eastward, He said.
Strong sandstorms, the highest degree of sand-related weather events, are expected for the mid-west areas of Gansu and parts of Ningxia provinces today with wind speeds reaching 13 to 16 meters per second.
Temperature will likely drop 6 to 10 C in parts of North and Northeast China following the wind which was to turn into abrupt gusts today.
"Such up-and-down temperatures are quite normal in spring," He said, adding "people may not feel the cold as strong as in winter."
(China Daily March 10, 2004)