Yellow sky in Beijing as sandstorm from Mongolia hits China's capital
Updated 18:19, 15-Mar-2021

A sandstorm swept across Beijing on Monday morning, turning the sky yellow, limiting visibility to less than 1,000 meters and disrupting traffic.

Beijing Meteorological Service issued a yellow alert for a sandstorm at 7:25 a.m on Monday, saying that Beijing is seeing increased levels of dust and visibility is expected to be less than 1,000 meters in most areas of the city until noon.

Data released at 7 a.m. from Beijing Municipal Ecological and Environmental Monitoring Center showed that the main pollutant was PM10, with the air quality reaching the serious pollution level (level 6). 



The sandstorm originated in central and northern Mongolia on Sunday, gradually moving southward with air currents.

"The temperature of the underlying surface in Mongolia and the northwest region of China in the early stage was significantly 5 to 8 degrees Celsius higher and the precipitation was little, which were very conducive to the dust weather," said Zhang Bihui, the director of the National Meteorological Center (NMC). "Meanwhile, the combined action of the Mongolian cyclone and the cold high pressure provided a strong impetus for the sandstorm."

According to the NMC, 12 provinces and cities are expected to experience sandstorms during the day and at night. Weather satellites estimated that the visible dust zone covered an area of 466,000 square kilometers, marking China's most intense and extensive sandstorm in the last 10 years.

(Video provided by Weather China, online weather service of the China Meteorological Administration. Cover image via VCG)

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