More snow on the way as Shanghai airports face delays

The strong cold front from the north is dumping snow and ice across the city.

A plane is seen at Hongqiao International Airport today.

The strong cold front from the north is dumping snow and ice across the city.

Patchy light snow fell overnight, and by 8am, 2 to 4 millimeters of snow fell across the city. Qingpu District saw medium-to-heavy snow, with 4.2 centimeters accumulating on roads, according to Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

Heavier snow is forecast this afternoon, and it will continue until the wee hours tomorrow.

A yellow alert for snow storms, second of the four-tier system, was released at 12:43pm, forecasting that 6 to 10 millimeters of snow will fall within 12 hours.

Forecasters said the city’s western and northern parts, including Qingpu, Jiading, and Songjiang districts, will be hit by heavy snow or even blizzards, which will dump up to 8 centimeters of snow on the roads.

Meanwhile, a yellow icy road alert, which was released last night, is still in place.

Due to freezing and snowy weather, some 20 flights have been cancelled along with over 40 being delayed at Shanghai's two airports this morning.

General takeoff and landing at both Pudong and Hongqiao international airports remained normal as over 120 flights braved the snow to land, and over 230 have taken off this morning, the Shanghai Airport Authority said.

The airport authority has helped to defrost 23 aircraft at Pudong and 63 at Hongqiao by spraying melting agents on aircraft bodies after being berthed on aprons overnight.

The air traffic controller has issued a third level yellow alert for potential flight delays at Pudong and Hongqiao airports. The takeoff and landing capacity at both airports is expected to be reduced by 30 percent from 7am today and 1am tomorrow, according to the air traffic controller.

To avoid massive flight delays, 11 snow blower vehicles have been standing by at both airports along with another four specialized vehicles to spray melting agents on the runways, according to the authority. A total of 90 tons of melting agent and 30 tons of industrial salt have been prepared.

Shanghai Railway Bureau announced that over 200 trains leaving from the city's three railway terminals for Anhui, Jiangsu and Beijing on Thursday and Friday will be cancelled.

Exposed water pipes, valves and meters at the airports have been wrapped with heat-retaining materials. Air-conditioners have been inspected to ensure terminal buildings stay warm.

The local agricultural commission said they will strengthen the protection of local vegetable greenhouses and clear the snow on the screens of the greenhouses to prevent them from being damaged. Seedlings planted in spring should be covered with more layers, as well as some overwintered vegetables and fruits.

The farmers are also told to clean the ditches to ensure good drainage and avoid flooding in fields. Efforts should be made to raise the yield of vegetables and fruits for abundant supply for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Measures of anti-disaster management should be applied and farmers should also be careful with electricity safety.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE
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