Yellow skies in Beijing as a sandstorm from Mongolia hits the Chinese capital
A sandstorm swept through Beijing on Monday morning, yellowing skies, limiting visibility to less than 1,000 meters and disrupting traffic.
The Beijing Meteorological Service issued a yellow alert for a sandstorm at 7:25 a.m. Monday, saying Beijing is seeing increased dust levels and visibility is expected to be below 1,000 meters in most parts of the city until at noon.
Data released at 7 a.m. by the Beijing Municipal Ecological and Environmental Monitoring Center showed that the main pollutant was PM10, with air quality reaching the level of severe pollution (Level 6).
The sandstorm originated in central and northern Mongolia on Sunday, gradually moving south with the air currents.
“The underlying surface temperature in Mongolia and the northwest region of China at the beginning was significantly higher by 5 to 8 degrees Celsius, and the precipitation was low, which was very conducive to the dusty weather,” said Zhang Bihui, director of the National Meteorological Center (NMC). “Meanwhile, the combined action of the Mongolian cyclone and the cold anticyclone gave a strong impetus to the sandstorm.
According to the NMC, 12 provinces and cities are expected to experience sandstorms during the day and night. Weather satellites estimated that the visible dust patch covered an area of 466,000 square kilometers, marking the most intense and widespread sandstorm in China in the past 10 years.
(Video provided by Weather China, China Meteorological Administration’s online weather service. Cover image via VCG)
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