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Weather Tracker: First Snow of Winter in Beijing Causes Widespread Disruption

Heavy snowfall affected China last weekend in regions north of the Yangtze River, with Beijing experiencing its first snow of the season. As a consequence of the snow and ice, more than 180 bus routes were suspended across the city on Monday, with several trains and flights being delayed or cancelled. Henan province, south of Beijing, had big falls over the weekend, with many areas recording depths of 10cm and even, in some places, up to 15cm. Shanxi province, to the south-west of Beijing, also saw some wintry conditions, with icy roads leading to a pile-up of more than 40 cars on Sunday night, with one person dead and six injured.

A second, more intense cold spell developed across northern China on Thursday and will become more widespread through the weekend. Further snowfall is expected, with temperatures plummeting widely, bringing the possibility of record low temperatures in some northern areas. For example, Shanghai saw 23C on Thursday, but may see a max of just 3C on Saturday. South Korea and parts of Japan will see similarly dramatic shifts from mild weather to temperatures well below zero.

Meanwhile, Spain experienced record high temperatures this week as an unseasonably warm air mass spread across the Iberian peninsula. Málaga recorded a maximum temperature of 29.9C on Tuesday, the highest December temperature ever recorded in Spain. Some weather stations beat their previous December records by a staggering 5C. The exceptional warmth has also caused problems for Spain’s ski resorts, with many slopes typically covered with snow by this time of year remaining bare.

And South Australia was hit with heavy rain over the weekend, leaving about 30,000 homes without power. More than 20,000 lightning bolts were recorded in Adelaide over the weekend, which has already received more than double its average rainfall for December. Elsewhere in Australia, Tropical Cyclone Jasper made landfall in northern Queensland on Wednesday with destructive winds and torrential rain. As Jasper made landfall, more than 400mm of rainfall was recorded in places, with winds of about 75mph. Jasper was downgraded on Thursday, but the threat of flooding remained in many areas.

Source : The Guardian