Eleven to 15 sandstorms are expected in northern and northwestern China this spring, less than the seasonal average of 19.2, says the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
There were 18 sandstorms in 2006, according to the CMA.
The CMA is forecasting 10 to 14 sandy days in north China, 20 to 25 sandy days in the northwestern region and 30 to 35 sandy days in the westernmost Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The National Climate Center expects high temperatures and reduced rainfall in the Yellow River valley and areas to the north of the river this spring, factors that will favor sandstorms.
China has reported four sandstorms so far this year. The first hit the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Gansu Province on Jan. 26, and the biggest swept through Inner Mongolia, Gansu, Ningxia and parts of Xinjiang from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28.
Over the next three days, winds of force five to six will blow in the eastern part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in northwest China, north China and most parts of northeast China, according to the CMA.
Temperatures will drop by four to six degrees Celsius in these regions and by up to 10 degrees in some areas, according to the CMA forecast.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2007)