The northernmost city in China has just experienced the coldest day in its history

(CNN) Temperatures in China’s northernmost city fell to minus 53°C (minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit), the coldest ever recorded, forecasters said.

Located in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and located close to Russian Siberia, Mohe is widely known as the “North Pole of China” and is one of the few places in the country that has a sub-arctic climate.
The temperature at 7 am on Jan. 22, also the first day of the Lunar New Year, registered minus 53°C, according to the Heilongjiang Meteorological Bureau. It surpassed its previous record of minus 52.3°C in 1969, authorities said.

China’s meteorological authority forecast large temperature drops in parts of the country and issued a blue cold wave on Monday.

In neighboring Russia, Yakutsk, which has the distinction of being the coldest city in the world, saw temperatures plunge to minus 62.7°C (minus 80.9 degrees Fahrenheit), the coldest in more than two decades.

Winters on Mohe are long, beginning in early October and usually lasting until May. Average temperatures during this period are known to drop below freezing, experts said.

In 2018, rare “ice fog” – a meteorological phenomenon which occurs only in extremely cold climates when airborne water droplets remain in liquid formgripped residents, prompting local authorities to issue the city’s first red warning for cold weather.

No alerts have been issued in Mohe yet, but local forecasters say the cold spell will continue this week. Freezing fog is also expected, they said.

The city’s constant cold draws tourists year-round, who flock to its ice-themed attractions. In 2011, more than 10,000 tourists flocked to the city to watch the Northern Lights during the annual festival of polar lights.
A highway connecting the remote city to the capital Beijing opened in December 2019 to much fanfare.

Climate change has worsened the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

Just a few months ago, China experienced its worst heat wave since 1961, causing massive power outages and even reducing rivers to drought levels. The extreme heat lasted for 70 days and the impact was felt across large parts of the country.

In the southwestern province of Sichuan, home to 80 million people, power outages have shuttered factories and plunged homes and offices into rolling blackouts, which also killed thousands of birds and fish on farms.

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It's so cold in some parts of China right now that hot water turns into ice crystals when tossed in the air

Posted by CNN International on Thursday, December 6, 2018

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