Beijingers experienced the freezing weather this season after a cold spell came from Siberia on Friday night, Wang Hua, chief forecaster of Beijing Meteorological Observatory, said.
Chen Dagang, a senior meteorological forecaster at the observatory, said the capital city's lowest temperature in recent decades was minus 15.2 degrees, recorded in 1985.
Wang said in Beijing's mountainous northern suburb, Sunday's temperature could drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius.
In urban areas, the temperature is expected to drop to minus 15 degrees Celsius over the weekend.
However, Wang said it would rise again, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Today, fewer people were on Beijing's streets.
Not many people were seen at Tiananmen Square, a tourist hot spot.
"Your hands go numb in just a few minutes. Cameras also work very slowly due to the cold," said a woman surnamed Zhou, who works on the square.
Most parts of the country, except the central and southwestern regions, will see temperatures fall by six to eight degrees Celsius in the next three days.
Some parts of north and northeast China will witness a drop of 10 to 14 degrees Celsius, according to the observatory.
The National Meteorological Centre today kept its blue alert for the cold weather that is sweeping many northern regions in China.