China expects searing heat, more weather extremes in 2024

China expects searing heat, more weather extremes in 2024

/ 02:59 PM December 27, 2023

China expects searing heat, more weather extremes in 2024

A woman uses a fan as she walks at a park amid an alert for heatwave in Shanghai, China July 12, 2023. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

BEIJING — China – grappling with one of its coldest Decembers on record – will likely have to brace for another round of scorching heat and an increase in extreme weather next year due to the El Nino weather phenomenon, a senior climate expert said.

This year has seen China lurch from some of its hottest temperatures logged since 1850 to a harsh cold snap that froze many parts of the country for close to a fortnight earlier this month.


“2024 may be hotter and it could also be a year when extreme weather may become more frequent and powerful,” Zhou Bing, China’s National Climate Center chief expert, was quoted as saying in a report by state broadcaster CCTV.


This past summer saw Beijing bake in record heat while a remote township in the country’s arid northwest logged a day of 52 degrees Celsius (126 Fahrenheit) – the hottest on record for China. Typhoons also brought record-breaking rainfall in China’s north, causing widespread flooding.

El Nino refers to the climate phenomenon that occurs every two to seven years, where waters near the equator in the Pacific become warmer than normal leading to heavy rainfall, storms or droughts in some parts of the world.

This year’s El Nino began in June and has set new temperature highs around the world. Weather experts predict El Nino could fade between April and June next year, but as its effects take months to materialize, there could be more temperature records broken in 2024.

Zhao said extreme weather could “more pronounced” coming on the heels of El Nino.

The weather phenomenon typically brings warmer winters in China. But experts said that El Nino, combined with blasts of chilly winds from the Arctic earlier this month, had complicated forecasts, with a cold wave that shrunk the mercury to below minus 40 degree Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit) in some areas in China.

Extreme weather such as cold waves, high temperatures, heavy rains and sand storms have been frequent this year, with new records set for temperatures, rain and snow precipitation and other data in weather logs, Beijing News said.


China’s observatory called the weather pattern since mid-December “unusually complex”, with the circulation of chilly air persisting until the start of the new year.

China will experience another two less-intense cold waves in the coming week as temperatures gradually normalize, the country’s meteorological bureau said.

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