Beijing, set to host Olympics this winter, to get first substantial snow of season

The 2022 winter Olympic Games will take place a few months from now in Beijing, China, a city where snow and precipitation are usually hard to come by in the cooler months. But an incoming storm could kick-start the season and bring a potentially significant snowfall to the region with less than 100 days until the games.

Snow is, after all, an important weather element for the winter games, as the greatest skiers, snowboarders, and other athletes from around the world compete.
A strengthening storm system will develop this weekend over northeastern China, unleashing the development of snow. In some cases more than 50 centimeters (20 inches) could accumulate in the higher elevations across parts of Liaoning, Jilin and Hebei provinces through Monday local time.
    Beijing is expected to receive 10 to 20 centimeters (about 4 to 8 inches) of snowfall by the end of the weekend, which would make it the greatest snow event of this dry season for the city.
      The last time it snowed this much was from a storm in February 2020 when 18 centimeters (about 7 inches) fell over the course of four days, according to data from Ogimet.
        The area’s first snow typically arrives in November, so a substantial snow is not out of the ordinary in terms of timing.
        More than 100 miles northwest, in the city of Zhangjiakou, is where the most Olympic snow events will take place. It typically picks up more snowfall each year compared to Beijing since it is at a higher elevation, making it a more ideal location for outdoor snow sports.
          And with the snow comes the cold. Widespread temperatures of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius and in some cases around 15 degrees Celsius below normal is forecast this weekend across northern China.
          The storm system prompted the China Meteorological Administration to declare a level three response, meaning more timely forecasts will be issued.
          Temperatures are expected to remain below average into much of next week, although it will not be as significantly colder than normal than this weekend.
          Temperatures are usually at their coldest in Beijing and the greater region during the heart of winter — around the start of the new year.
            January is the coldest month followed by December then February. The average daytime temperature in February, which is when the games will be held, is 4.0 degrees Celsius (39.2 degrees Fahrenheit) but usually falls several degrees below freezing overnight, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
            Organizers will need to hope for more snow between now and the Olympics as above freezing temperatures in the next three months will slowly melt snow from the weekend storm.

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