Beijing is witnessing the longest dry spell in 47 years, as it has not received "effective precipitation" in the past 115 days, Met officials said here today. "Effective precipitation" refers to rain or snow that is actually added and stored in the soil. According to the Beijing's climate observatory, the Chinese capital has not seen precipitation of 0.1 mm or more on any of the past 115 days. The previous record of the longest dry spell was between October 1970 and February 1971, when the city experienced a 114-day rainless streak. Beijing has seen plenty of cold fronts this winter, but there has been a lack of moisture in the atmosphere, making it difficult for snow to form, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported today. Since November 2017, under the influence of La Nina, the Siberian high pressure area and the East Asian trough have intensified, leading to colder air in northern China. However, the subtropical high in the West Pacific is in a position that is not conducive for wet warm air from southern China to move northward and meet the cold air, said Shi Hongbo with the Beijing Climate Centre. According to the Beijing Meteorological Service forecast, Beijing will witness sunny to overcast weather without marked snowfall and extreme low temperatures during the seven-day Chinese Lunar New Year holiday starting today.
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