Sandstorms and dusty weather are expected to hit parts of northern China this week, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) told Xinhua on Monday.
Due to a cold air current and little rainfall, sandstorms will increase significantly in mid and western-Inner Mongolia, northern Heibei Province and the southern part of the northeast from Wednesday through to March 11, the forecast said.
From Tuesday through Thursday, strong winds will blast North China and certain areas in these regions will be sandy or dusty. Eastern regions have been forecast to receive less rain than previous years.
Exceptional drought in some regions last year, which left earth arid and prone to becoming floating dust also contributed to the dusty weather, said experts.
Meteorologists said the forecasts were fundamentally related to the La Nina phenomenon and abnormal atmospheric circulation, which would prevail until summer.
La Nina is a large pool of unusually cold water in the equatorial Pacific that develops every few years, affecting global weather patterns.
"Several areas, including parts of Jilin and Liaoning provinces, are expected to see less relatively severe droughts in the spring, " the China Daily newspaper quoted the CMA as saying. It also warned that local forestry authorities should raise the fire alert level.
(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2008)